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Mark Bern, CFA
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K202 is now back to just the original author again, Mark Bern. Mark is both a CPA and a CFA charter holder. He has a bachelors degree in Business Admin. with a concentration in Economics. His experience includes both private and public sector and careers in accounting, financial and market... More
  • OG's Quick Chat # 111 - 10/20/2010 104 comments
    Oct 21, 2010 11:15 PM

    OG has asked me to take over responsibility for the Quick Chats so that she can sort out some personal things.  OG will be back with us soon after her hiatus.. At that time she will resume posting QC Instablogs.  Until then, I will be your host.  Please be respectful and enjoy the liberty of this space.

    List of stocks mentioned in QC # 110:

    (NYSE:AIG), (ATPG), (NASDAQ:AXPW), (BBEP), (NASDAQ:BBRG), (NYSE:C), (OTCQX:CHPGF), (NASDAQ:CPST), (NYSEMKT:CQP), (NYSEARCA:DRR), (OTCQX:EDVMF), (NYSEARCA:EUO), (FVITF.PK), (GDLNF.PK.), (NASDAQ:GLNG), (NYSE:GM), (OTCPK:GWMGF), (OTCQX:HUDRF), (JAG), (OTCPK:KGILF), (LPH), (OTCPK:LYSCF), (MCP), (OTCPK:MLLOF), (OTCPK:NATUF), (NASDAQ:NVAX), (NYSEMKT:REE), (NYSE:SVM), (NYSE:TEX), (NYSEARCA:UUP), (NYSE:WFC)

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Comments (104)
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  • Mark Bern, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (7180) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » The last comment on QC # 110 was by MarkBern:

     

    The Troll had slowed down for a few days after I sent the last email to Eli. Then all of a sudden it's been back with a vengeance. It makes me even more concerned that the Troll resides within the SA staff and that after they talked it over they decided to turn it loose on us again. I wonder. Of course, I have never heard a response from my last email asking if it might be someone from SA staff. The response I mentioned earlier was what came to me just before that. Curious.
    21 Oct 2010, 11:16 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13581) | Send Message
     
    Meant to reporty on the last art festival last weekend...

     

    Beautiful weather, large crowds, sales about 20% less than last year (while of course last year it was raining, very cold, windy, and lightly attended).

     

    Darn, I'm starting to miss the "recession". "Recovery" is no fun.
    21 Oct 2010, 11:53 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Mark & Everyone: I really want to take the torch and run with this Troll nightmare. To have this nutcase trashing everything we've done to help SA though the growing pains is...well...I can't really come up with a better word than sad. I so much understand, or at least try to, all of you friends who've worked so hard to create brilliant Instas, articles, and are now contimplating never again doing the same. To have this idiot trashing such fabulous work, making all of us feel thwarted, angers me. To have David Jackson pose to me as to why I haven't written an article and submitted it for publication now takes on a new tone.

     

    Why bother? If you guys support my work, this A-hole will only come in and discredit it. Further, as this becomes more apparent, who wants to make comment? Imagine if any of us actually wrote an article worthy of a "Most Popular Articles" status, and all of those who make comment, get racked? Would they ever make comment to anything we ever write again?

     

    To me, it's not about the ratings. It's about how Seeking Alpha is turning a head toward some of its founding friends.

     

    Problem is that I expect to be in Ohio next week, for reasons you all know why. Tomorrow my sis and I are going to Atlantic City. Sunday I expect to be on the road to the Buckeye state, still pending, though.

     

    Then, I'm off to Honduras.

     

    Mark: There is no way SA is going after us. David Jackson is the real deal. He really loves our input. Yet, it makes me highly suspect that User's insanely brilliant H1N1 and oil disaster articles have not been published. What User wrote is so much more detailed and accomplished than so brief an angle provided by daily contributors such as Bespoke. I am seriously disgusted by this.

     

    What I would like to do is write David about this ongoing fiasco. I really don't care what the troll does to me, but when he goes after my pals, this angers me greatly. You guys are cross the board brilliant, and are willing to share your brilliance, work hard, provide insights, with all who ask. David knows this.

     

    I'm fearing SA is going to lose a big asset. Us common folk.

     

    What I did with the Stop Script thingy is simply cut, copy and paste all pertinent comments. David was "amazed" by our input.

     

    I really want to take the lead with this disruptive matter. I will be taking my laptop. If any of you want me to take this lead, that's ok. If you guys want me to carry our flag into battle, I will. Just know that I unfortunately have other, more important matters with which to deal.
    22 Oct 2010, 01:28 AM Reply Like
  • Mark Bern, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (7180) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » It is suddenly very quiet here. Did everyone leave because of the Troll?

     

    Maya - They don't seem to be listening to my requests for assistance so anything you can do (whenever you have some time) would be very helpful. I tried the cut and paste routine from our comments and from private messages (with permission, of course) but still feel like a rolling stone (can't get no satisfaction).
    It would appear that they have amnesia regarding the Jason incident and got offended by my question, I suppose.

     

    I wish you well on your travels and pray your family's endurance and peace in these difficult times.
    22 Oct 2010, 10:19 AM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (9553) | Send Message
     
    I was busy with work and goooh messages. Seems troll has followed me to the burning platform and wall street breakfast. I have not counted my score in so long that I have no idea if he has been working me over in my past comments now at 9698. Figured I would put that here since I wont remember it 15 minutes from now.

     

    Suffering from CRS. (Cant remember sh!t.)
    22 Oct 2010, 01:14 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13581) | Send Message
     
    Hey, DG, I resemble that remark!
    22 Oct 2010, 01:28 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (9553) | Send Message
     
    Look up CRS in the medical dictionary and you will find my picture. Its a large group photo so you might be in there too.

     

    I cant remember where or when it was taken.
    22 Oct 2010, 02:12 PM Reply Like
  • Mark Bern, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (7180) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » DG - Of course, you can't remember. If you could, you wouldn't be in the picture. I'm going to look it up again. Can't remember if I was in it either.
    22 Oct 2010, 02:59 PM Reply Like
  • Dialectical Materialist
    , contributor
    Comments (5080) | Send Message
     
    My apologies in advance, but this reminds me of an old joke:

     

    Q: What's the best thing about Alzheimer's?
    A: You get to meet a lot of new people.
    22 Oct 2010, 05:22 PM Reply Like
  • Mark Bern, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (7180) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Maya - The golden cross has just occurred as you predicted. I wonder if it will be any more effective than the death cross?
    22 Oct 2010, 10:20 AM Reply Like
  • lower98th
    , contributor
    Comments (1411) | Send Message
     
    Hi Mark: Thanks for keeping this up

     

    Buying MSFT today, and BX. All in MSFT and initial position in BX. BX because of China relationship, and as a Real Estate play. MSFT because they meet the FCF metrics I use, and though I don't have a true formula yet for contrarian indicators before earnings the sell side press is downing this stock in an "I'd like to own your stock for a bit less" kiind of way.
    22 Oct 2010, 10:35 AM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5179) | Send Message
     
    L98th, what are FCF metrics?
    24 Oct 2010, 02:50 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13581) | Send Message
     
    I'm not going anywhere. Handling trolls is a given in the fantasy and science fiction business.

     

    So long as a single Renegade will post on SA with me, I'm in for the win.

     

    I might have some insight as to what motivates the site management - having been on the inside of these discussions on other sites.

     

    Site design (including infrastructure, ie, how the site works for its users) has increasingly come to be customizable to an amazing degree. As this flexibility has increased, so has the drive to maximize income from site sponsorships and advertising, utilizing the way the infrastructure is laid out. Ad revenues flow from the number of views and interactions which are counted by multitudes of web bots. Real money is involved.

     

    So that's the first decision management must make: How to maximize hits from the web, which will in turn maximize income.

     

    In the case of SA, its obvious that the emphasis has been placed upon front page content in the form of "published" articles. Other functions have been relegated to a "support role" for those articles. Search engines are being purposely funneled into that narrow path, and of course blocked from other portions of the site to reinforce that outcome.

     

    Doubtless this strategy ties in with management goals and preferences. "Behavior modification" becomes a concern, when inevitably the free human beings using the site insist on doing what they want to do, rather than following the site owner's plan. "Discouraging" this behavior via the site structure is done, in an attempt to channel the all-important activity to the desired target (articles, and comments on articles). The plumbing of the site is altered, first in minor ways, then more dramatically, to "push" the herd into the path of least resistance.

     

    We are, I believe, about midway along this path. Recent changes to the site intended to increase activity levels in the articles (the obvious changes to site design that did away with the front page access we had all grown accustomed to) have probably, imo, actually REDUCED activity. Those darn free humans just insist on going around barriers and doing what they want to do, regardless.

     

    COULD someone be seeking to "force" us to abandon these blogs and place our valuable comments where they will do them some good ($$$ from search engines scanning the list of articles for key word hits)? I don't know.

     

    But I'm here for the duration of the war, come thumbs up or thumbs down.
    22 Oct 2010, 11:00 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13581) | Send Message
     
    Oh, meant to mention some actual investment data:

     

    Bought/added (DOM), took profits on (LYSCF.PK), (MCP), (MLLOF.PK).

     

    I'm thinking that the REE space will look very odd between now and the G20 meeting. Expectations that a quiet deal has been reached are rampant (and in error, but hey, when all the lemmings who believe everything they hear are in full stampede, best to stand out of the way). I am thinking to start buying like mad at some point between now and then, btw. Disappointment is coming for the "China will save us" crowd.
    22 Oct 2010, 11:07 AM Reply Like
  • Mark Bern, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (7180) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » TB - I'm with you on the REE strategy. I, too, think there is a pull back coming from profit taking and political ranglings and expect a better place to jump in. I hope to take up some long-term positions and then trade around them. I have done very little thus far in the REE space and am feeling pretty remorseful about it. But, hey! Live and learn and get on the train when it pulls into the station (buy price). I intend to stay here for the duration as well, however I have found less and less time to comment. But I still read all the QC threads each day and sift through several SA articles that interest me. But with the lack of time and the Troll issue my comments will probably continue to be slack for a while. When I get caught up, I'll be back to commenting more. But I still may not comment much on my favorite authors' articles if the Troll is still following me around and hitting me and others in those threads with thumbs down. I suppose that is their immediate goal. But I plan a series of articles myself when things quiet down that I expect to be very popular. I'll tell more as I get closer to publishing the first one.

     

    Thanks for sticking with it and for your always valuable insights.
    22 Oct 2010, 12:24 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13581) | Send Message
     
    Could the REE tide already be turning?

     

    (MCP) has been trading down, including this morning, but has just turned around and is now flat.

     

    (MLLOF.PK) was trading down fairly strongly (still so far up from the amazing gains that this has not yet put a fair dent in recent gains, though)... BUT its trend is also reversing, following (MCP), now down about 1.5% for the date (was down over 6% earlier).

     

    (GWMGF.PK) has completed its reversal of field, and is now up 1.20% today.

     

    (GDLNF.PK) never really participated in the dip, and is now up 7.78%.

     

    (HUDRF.PK) also avoided the drop, and is surging, up 14.73% today.

     

    (LYSCF.PK) is improving, though more slowly than the others, and is still trading down about 4% on the day.
    22 Oct 2010, 12:30 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19387) | Send Message
     
    I'm getting no "notifications" when a new comment is added to the QC. Anybody see this?

     

    I went to the top and clicked the "Follow ..." at the top (which normally I don't click). to see if that helped.

     

    HardToLove
    22 Oct 2010, 01:40 PM Reply Like
  • Silentz
    , contributor
    Comments (716) | Send Message
     
    I had a problem with tracking yesterday afternoon. Whenever I checked, the same updates showed, even after I viewed them. It seems to be working better today, but I wasn't aware there was a new QC, so didn't get updates. I checked the box and I got the notification of your comment, so hopefully, all is right with the tracking... we'll see.
    22 Oct 2010, 01:44 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19387) | Send Message
     
    I got notified too now. I don't know why it stopped working. When the QC was put up, I clicked the follow button. I don't know how it got turned off.

     

    HardToLove
    22 Oct 2010, 01:47 PM Reply Like
  • Dialectical Materialist
    , contributor
    Comments (5080) | Send Message
     
    I got stale notifications yesterday too. I didn't get new QC posts for this one and thought maybe I forgot to check the box, which I always do as soon as a new one is put up. Now I'm thinking maybe I did click it and had the same problem HTL had...
    22 Oct 2010, 01:54 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13581) | Send Message
     
    Something odd was going on last night with our blogs. I kept getting tracking of new posts, but when I visited, no new posts. This went on for several hours.
    22 Oct 2010, 02:01 PM Reply Like
  • Mark Bern, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (7180) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Hey, I'm the "author" and the author is always supposed to get notified when there are new comments on their instas or articles. But nothing showed up on my dashboard and I got no notices in tracking until a little while ago. It seems to be working again now, though.
    22 Oct 2010, 03:03 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13581) | Send Message
     
    More news that the bond mania continues - the exit from equities is ongoing - and some good, easily understood information about just how crazy it all is:

     

    finance.yahoo.com/bank...=
    22 Oct 2010, 01:45 PM Reply Like
  • Mark Bern, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (7180) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » The article makes some good points, especially about how ridiculous it is to be buying bonds now at such low rates. Locking in guaranteed after tax losses! How crazy can people be?
    22 Oct 2010, 03:19 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13581) | Send Message
     
    Fear. They are ruled by fear. Our leaders should be ashamed that this is the result.
    22 Oct 2010, 07:11 PM Reply Like
  • lower98th
    , contributor
    Comments (1411) | Send Message
     
    HTL - I think its just some glitches that have developed as the site is evolving. For example: in comments I follow there are none between 5:21pm yesterday, to 9:59am today. A few of days ago there was a four hour black hole in stocktalks. And de-checking tracking? Sometimes they Just Won't Go Away.
    22 Oct 2010, 01:52 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19387) | Send Message
     
    (GLNG): Just mentioned on CNBC - look for a pop for anyone interested?

     

    Yep. larger than normal volume hitting right now.

     

    HardToLove
    22 Oct 2010, 02:09 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13581) | Send Message
     
    seekingalpha.com/artic...

     

    Another minor update about the role played by shadowy commercial/governments in manipulating precious metal prices...

     

    But the graph tells an amazing story.

     

    Fiat gold - whether we want it that way or not.
    22 Oct 2010, 02:47 PM Reply Like
  • lower98th
    , contributor
    Comments (1411) | Send Message
     
    So today I got a statement from EIEIO online brokerage account. With $100 still just sitting there. Here's my story. Several months ago I attempted to open an account on-line and transfer funds into it. There was a $100 free money offer at the time. I was going to start with a $10,000 transfer...which I entered into the little boxes. The boxes went away upon pressing "enter," but the next screen told me to delete the comma (which I did), press confirm. Comma deleted, check. All was well until the next page, which showed a transfer pending of $100,000 and a nice note that they were advancing the $100,000 to me as a courtesy so I could begin trading immediately. I was able to back up and printscreen the $10,000 confirm page. A telephone call with tech and the operations manager revealed that, though I could not see it (and they would fix it going forward), the deleted comma left a behind-screen blank, which their smartware filled in automatically. The manager said they couldn't make adjustments from their end, but if I did not wish to transfer $100,000 to have my bank reject the wire, and then just rewire The $10k. Which I did. But the Broker's software disallowed the new wire, because the first wire was not completed (I guess like a bad check). So they told me if I wished to open the account, I would have to set up a new bank account from which to wire, or else drive a certified check or cash to the closest physical office. So I said, just forget it and to please close or cancel the account. They said that after so many days of a zero balance, it would automatically close. The $100,000 was debited when the wire was rejected. But It is now the fifth month that I've called to say "its not closed..." and the broker can't figure out how to remove the free $100......
    22 Oct 2010, 03:04 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13581) | Send Message
     
    Instruct them to donate the money to the Red Cross. And send you the receipt.
    22 Oct 2010, 07:14 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19387) | Send Message
     
    Joe Shaefer posted a really concise summary of the benefits of the "stimulus" here

     

    seekingalpha.com/artic...

     

    I suggest a brief period with a potent libation, wait about 30 minutes and then read it. I know it just confirms suspicions, but ire can return so easily. Get mellow first. Why let it upset you all over again?

     

    HardToLove
    22 Oct 2010, 03:11 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Lower: I empathize with your situation. I can't even get PA to call me about my being taxed for years I did not live in PA. I've been told superiors have been sent emails. Yet, nothing. There's only a handful of days for the rest of the year I'll be home. Frustrating.

     

    In AC, and off to the Holdem' tables.

     

    Nice to have a dull day in the markets! Finally!
    22 Oct 2010, 04:22 PM Reply Like
  • Mark Bern, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (7180) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Maya - OPM reduced my pension and was supposed to reinstate the amount over 3 1/2 years ago. I finally resorted to asking my Congressman to inquire on my behalf. I have spent countless hours explaining my situation and have been promised corrective action numerous times. But I have still to get the office responsible for the problem to either answer the phone or return my calls. The only ones I can get in touch with at OPM are the customer service people who can only send emails and lodge complaints and inquiries on my behalf, all of which are ignored.

     

    So welcome to dealing with the government hell. I have a feeling that things are only going to get worse.
    22 Oct 2010, 08:09 PM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5179) | Send Message
     
    Re: Lithium/Mining + Batteries:
    This weekend, I am going to read about Hitachi (HIT) and lithium miner Orocobre Ltd (ORL)

     

    Here's the link:
    resourceinvestingnews....
    22 Oct 2010, 08:26 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Just poured myself a Jamesons, only I forgot the Jamo. Ohio sis's husband admitted himself tonight. He's bleeding through the number two hole. Doc's can't figure out where the bleeding is coming from . He's on O2 and getting a transfusion.

     

    Further, Earlier today she learned her son had some tests showing he may have complications in his ability to reproduce.

     

    Not sure what else to write.
    23 Oct 2010, 12:40 AM Reply Like
  • Silentz
    , contributor
    Comments (716) | Send Message
     
    Wow Maya. You'll certainly be due some good karma pretty soon. I'm praying for you and yours.
    23 Oct 2010, 02:25 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19387) | Send Message
     
    So many bad hits in such a short time. It will certainly test you.

     

    My thoughts are with you.

     

    HardToLove
    23 Oct 2010, 10:36 AM Reply Like
  • lower98th
    , contributor
    Comments (1411) | Send Message
     
    www.marketwatch.com/st...

     

    About Google "Streetview" (Schmidt: " If you don't like it, move.") and what they collect.

     

    Not being particularly paranoid about privacy, only occasionally does my Gmail feed cause me to raise an eyebrow. You know...if you email about your Dog, you get 5 Petsmart/Petco ads. But recently I used a chargecard at the grocery store (where I normally write a check) for items including some baby diapers (not normal in my shopping profile the last 20 years). When I got home, the GoogleAds were baby related, and there were email coupons from Pampers....
    23 Oct 2010, 07:35 AM Reply Like
  • Dialectical Materialist
    , contributor
    Comments (5080) | Send Message
     
    The "I only did it once" defense does not work well for invasions of privacy, especially when the offense is taking a picture. Allow me to take a picture of your bank statement, but "I'll only do it once so its not an invasion of your privacy." Personally I think street view is cool and I think there are a lot of arguments for how it is not an invasion of privacy. But the "we only do it once" defense is about the worst approach I can think of.
    23 Oct 2010, 12:56 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13581) | Send Message
     
    finance.yahoo.com/news...=

     

    Looks like the G20 is promising no currency devaluation wars...

     

    Bad news for the United States, of course, when we need to monetize our debt. But then again, maybe LUCKY...

     

    That our guy making the pledge is a liar and a cheat.

     

    So: Get ready for dollar devaluation.

     

    The G20 is looking very OPEC-ish to me.
    23 Oct 2010, 08:05 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13581) | Send Message
     
    Thinking further about the "positive" news from the G20 financial clambake...

     

    This should strengthen the dollar, right? And it at least implies that any QE forthcoming will be measured and relatively small in size...

     

    So, at least until the lie is revealed (and surely they won't do that so soon), we should see a stronger (though not strong) dollar and markets trying to wring out $1trillion worth of QE expectations and god knows how much in weaker dollar expectations.

     

    Time to stop using the midterm elections (they are toast) as a barometer of the Regime's intentions, and start looking toward the big magilla in 2012. From here on out, they are looking far downfield...

     

    Might be rough next Monday.
    23 Oct 2010, 08:10 AM Reply Like
  • Mark Bern, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (7180) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » TB - I think you are right about the political aspects of looking forward (at least for US political races), but I doubt that there will be much emphasis on the 2012 elections for a while (if the Administration and Fed can help it). It may be headline news for a week or two, tops. Then the MSM will shift back to the immediate future and past earnings growth as a means to keep fear and panic from spreading, IMHO.

     

    I think they are naive and narrow in thinking that more of what we have now could possibly be a positive to the markets long term. If they would simply throw in the towel and admit that conservative, pro-business candidates are more likely to take control of government in 2012 and stay focused on that I suspect the market would become more forward looking and real hope would begin to well up in our nation. They could also point out that gridlock inside the beltway will bring more stability to the business environment allowing businesses to plan with greater assurance and how that could be a positive catalyst for economic growth. But I won't stay up nights or hold my breath waiting for anything practical like that to happen.

     

    Sorry for the sarcastic nature of my post. I am not trying to knock anything in your comment. I am just frustrated with the sheer lack of logic that is conquered by agenda within our "news" media.
    23 Oct 2010, 11:34 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13581) | Send Message
     
    LOL, this is my constant juggling act - to discern what our national leaders are likely to do - then gage how the MSM will spin it - then place the shadow puppet masters who control the markets in THEIR portion of the passion spiele...

     

    And then try to determine what (if anything) the great unwashed will do (usually just follow the bumper sticker sound bites on tv, BUT not always).

     

    Finally, pick my poison and take my chances.

     

    Not enough to correctly predict one or even 3 elements in the puzzle, but ALL if you want to win in the rigged casino, er, American markets.

     

    Oh, and you might also want to have some fundamental analysis and charting to help pick a stock or two, yep, that helps too.

     

    Buy and hold?

     

    LOL, not bloody likely.
    23 Oct 2010, 12:11 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10491) | Send Message
     
    Mark, Bern: Greetings. With all due respect I think the Turtle has the right of it. Our POTUS has been campaigning steadily since at least 2004. I 'm not sure he knows how to do any thing else. You can bet that the 2012 cycle is already under way. Axlerod will be going back to Chicago to join Rhambo and begin the ground work. GOOOHPAC TX 16 will be meeting in DEC along with our TEA party patriots (I support both) to start putting together our slate for 2012 Republican primaries. TEA party and goooh may have caught the establishment napping this time but you can bet that won't happen again.
    23 Oct 2010, 12:18 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13581) | Send Message
     
    The grass root uprising is just starting. It definitely includes such efforts as GOOOH and the Tea Party, but some odd developments on the left and far right as well. As the traditional "big 2" start to fade, things will become more fractious.

     

    As the Demicans and Republicrats go through massive change, the moderate middle will become more than the deciding factor in close races - it will BECOME the race. As the hard left consolidates power, they face a challenge clinging to the burgeoning moderate middle. The Republicans face a similar chore, as the ruling McCainiacs and neocons astride center-right are knocked aside by the grass roots uprisings and new defectors from the center left middle class swept along by the power of the tea parties. Incumbents in both camps who misgauge the mood of the voting public will find themselves rudely treated next election.
    24 Oct 2010, 05:45 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13581) | Send Message
     
    www.raremetalblog.com/...

     

    Japan is starting to dig all over Vietnam for REEs...

     

    But note that their stockpiles are due to vanish by next March, and that in the past they have consumed 60% of China's exports (or roughly the same proportion of the world's REE supply).

     

    Japan has also just cut a deal with Lynas (LYSCF.PK) for future production from their Malaysian facility (now under construction).

     

    So figure 6 months before Japan MUST have fresh shipments of refined REEs.

     

    And despite all reports to the contrary, China ain't shipping squat.

     

    Interesting, very interesting.

     

    Lynas will NOT be ready in time.

     

    Only Great Western (GWMGF.PK) has a prayer of meeting that deadline, and they are still trying to figure out how to do their financial filings.

     

    Its noteworthy that Japanese recycling firms are frantically scraping together every broken cellphone and laptop in Japan to see if they can figure out how to extract REEs from them.

     

    This is a Chinese fire drill - so to speak.

     

    Disturbingly, I really don't see an answer. Even a year ago - heck, even 6 MONTHS ago - concerted efforts could have headed off this crisis. Now, I just don't see it working out. Small quantities will flow from (MCP) and (GWMGF.PK), plus the crude efforts in India, but the picture is bleak. Even after Lynas gets in gear (which will probably take at least a year or two), its ugly.

     

    And that assumes none of the alternative energy pie-n-sky dreams of millions of wind turbines and megatonnes of n-batteries don't come to pass, much less hybrids and electric cars.

     

    Ha, think about the electronic revolution, based upon such things as cheap cell phones, laptops and wide screen tvs. Now start adding zeroes to the cost of raw materials...

     

    Hybrids and electric cars which MIGHT sell at $50,000 just WON'T at $100,000. The breakeven point for fuel savings goes from the sublime to the ridiculous. Same computation for wind power...

     

    Lots of apple carts hitched to the cheap REE donkey.
    23 Oct 2010, 12:29 PM Reply Like
  • Moon Kil Woong
    , contributor
    Comments (13181) | Send Message
     
    China just implemented a tax on all small foreign shipped packages. Even as the US hollers about currency manipulation the US should be pressing for the lowering of Chinese trade barriers. That's what's really killing and keeping our trade deficit in place.

     

    Simply put, China blocks its people as much as possible from being able to buy foreign goods. Companies wanting to sell into China are pressured to make the goods there. Then they prevent companies from converting RMB to dollars and taking money out of China. And after getting exposed to corruption and graft, finally they tax the companies and the consumers that buy foreign goods as punishment. I know they are in the WTO but they are a long ways from any semblance of free trade.
    23 Oct 2010, 01:41 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13581) | Send Message
     
    Excellent points, Moon, truly excellent. No argument from me.
    23 Oct 2010, 02:32 PM Reply Like
  • Joseph L. Shaefer
    , contributor
    Comments (1704) | Send Message
     
    Existentialism on Voting Day

     

    My wife and I travel, so we decided to avail ourselves of our right to vote early in our state. We each reviewed all the candidates and the ballot questions separately, then discussed the logic of why we had chosen as we had. In so doing, we discovered that my wife was being asked to vote on a state representative in one district and I in another. Now begins the joy of dealing with bureaucrats at any level of government who have no incentive to provide either service or accurate information…

     

    At the polling station, when we inquired why we each received different sample ballots we were told, “That isn’t possible. There is only one district that encompasses, among other areas, our entire town.”

     

    Us: “Well, we can show you on our sample ballots.” (Which, of course, we would soon see was the same as the actual ballot.)

     

    Polling station volunteer: “I don’t care what it says in writing, I’m telling you it isn’t possible.” (!!!)

     

    We asked if perhaps the County Registrar could shed some light and, after much negotiation, a different volunteer agreed to call them. He was told, “That’s not possible. Put them on.”

     

    Us: “Ma’am, 4 different polling station volunteers have now seen this. We are being asked to vote for different assembly seats.”

     

    Registrar: “That’s not possible. There’s only one district up there that encompasses your whole town.”

     

    Us: “Well, suppose for the moment the 2 of us and the 4 volunteers who have seen this are neither blind nor mentally incompetent. What reason would then surface?”

     

    Registrar: “Well, obviously you and your wife live in different districts.”

     

    Us: “If so, the districts divide between her side of the bed and mine. We live in the same house.”

     

    Registrar: “Have either of you ever lived anywhere else?”

     

    Us: “Well, yes. Military kid, plus my own military and corporate career… I’m thinking maybe 50 prior addresses. Why don’t we make this easy? Just tell me what address you show for each of us.”

     

    Registrar: “I’m not allowed to give out that information.”

     

    Us: “But volunteers here have it and they are using the rolls you provide. I have to verify it with photo ID every time I vote. And I already I know my address.”

     

    Registrar: “Then I guess you’d better get it from them!” Click.

     

    I’ll summarize from here: my wife and I have used the same mailing address for 20 years. (Our town is too small to have to-your-door USPS mail delivery.) All our mail should go there. Somewhere along the way, even though my wife and I changed our “physical” address at exactly the same time more than 3 years ago, and dutifully informed the Registrar, in writing, and dutifully informed the Registrar in writing as well that all mail should go to our mailing address, my wife’s ballot went to the mailing address and mine went to an address I haven’t lived at in 3 years, which was then forwarded to my mailing address with no markings whatsoever.

     

    Subsequent research online shows our town does indeed straddle two different legislative districts and the old physical address is different from our mailing address. Would it have been so tough to look at the most common-sense alternative first? We are assured that if we will only dis-enroll from the voter rolls and re-register, bring the new voter registration form to the office of the Secretary of State, and have our signatures witnessed by a government employee there, that we can straighten all this out. What the heck? It's only a ful day away from work.

     

    I just don’t understand why some people think government bureaucrats are difficult to deal with…
    23 Oct 2010, 05:52 PM Reply Like
  • Dialectical Materialist
    , contributor
    Comments (5080) | Send Message
     
    I recently applied for a replacement birth certificate. After some delay in processing my payment I called the office for the county in NY state where I was born.

     

    Clerk: yes I remember that form. I didn't process it because, you know what? I don't think you were born at that hospital.

     

    Me: I can promise you I was born at that hospital because that is what it says on my birth certificate.

     

    Clerk: I see. Umm. Can you read to me exactly what it says on your birth certificate.

     

    Me: well actually no, I can't because I don't have my birth certificate. That's why I'm applying for a replacement. But I have seen it, and I know where I was born.

     

    Clerk: oh. Okay. Can I get your number and call you back?

     

    I actually ended up getting my new certificate and the clerk was never rude or anything, but for a minute I thought I was going to spin in one of those bureaucratic circles where they were telling me I didn't exist or something...
    23 Oct 2010, 07:15 PM Reply Like
  • SA Eli Hoffmann
    , contributor
    Comments (990) | Send Message
     
    Hi Folks,

     

    Jumping in here with a few brief comments:

     

    1) Let me go on record as saying SA staff have never and will never systematically down-thumb anyone. Honestly, we hardly have time for such shenanigans, and if we were really so inclined, we could just delete people's accounts.

     

    2) So far we have not identified any systematic down-thumbing of users on QCs, but our tools to detect this are in dire need of an upgrade, so for now we can only check suspects manually instead of some form of automated tool. I am encouraged to see that it has not occurred on this QC. However, I likewise ask that the systematic up-thumbing that's clearly happening here stop. Please use thumbs-up as a way to show appreciation for an articulate and thought-provoking comment, not as a popularity tool.

     

    3) Best wishes to mayascribe.

     

    Eli
    23 Oct 2010, 08:21 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Eli: Thanks for your well-wishes, as well as your taking the time to comment here.

     

    It's unfortunate that SA does not have a way or method to track the widespread thumbs down attack going on amongst those who comment in Quick Chat, or Instablogs and articles created by those who frequent this column.

     

    If you go back into my recent comments you can see how I tracked being thumbs downed 198 times in just under two hours the other night. Something in the vicinity of 3200 since the "Troll" began the attack. I call that systematic. Others here have experienced the same treatment.

     

    Suggestion: There have been some excellent suggestions written above you may want to take a glance at.

     

    I suppose when there are well over a half million SA members (again, congratulations!) there is going to be someone who wants feel the thrill of a power trip at the expense of others.

     

    I can not say with absolute conviction, but I do have a good idea who this person is.

     

    Thanks again for taking time. Still holding out hope that Seeking Alpha can rectify this matter abusive behavior.
    23 Oct 2010, 08:52 PM Reply Like
  • Dialectical Materialist
    , contributor
    Comments (5080) | Send Message
     
    Wow, really? As soon as I see guidelines as to what constitutes an appropriate up-thumb and down-thumb, I can apply them to my behavior. I would assume that other users would be held to the same standards, of course.

     

    The tool tips suggest "Good comment" or "Poor comment". Is this the intent of the ratings? Perhaps Eli would like to educate the entire SA community on how to rate comments and not just a handful of users in one corner of the site.

     

    Fair warning all you guys, I'll be thumbing you down unless you dazzle me with your wit and expertise...
    23 Oct 2010, 08:53 PM Reply Like
  • Dialectical Materialist
    , contributor
    Comments (5080) | Send Message
     
    You know, the more I think about it, the most important thing a thumb up or down tells me is that someone has bothered to read my comment. Staring at a bunch of zero's would surely make me think no one was interested in what I had to say and would make me, oh I don't know, find another thing to do with my time than driving page views at SA. Perhaps a middle ranking, just one that says "some user somewhere read your comment" would achieve a lot. I would be more inclined to reserve +'s for those really complete comments yet would still be able to say to other commenters, "keep writing, I am listening".

     

    Besides that, though, many of the comments (not mine, of course) are FULL of thought provoking stuff. Links, predictions, Voldemort, action, romance, etc. The comments here are some of the more thought provoking stuff on SA -- at least comment wise. Go to a Sirius or Apple article and you'll see nothing but "oh, yeah tough guy?" and the like. The users here give a crap. I have an idea, why don't you chastise them for their use of your site. That's a great way to promote your content!
    23 Oct 2010, 09:15 PM Reply Like
  • Moon Kil Woong
    , contributor
    Comments (13181) | Send Message
     
    You have a good point, if you delete the up thumbs on these quick chats you will find about 70% of all up thumbs disappear. In fact, I suggest a comment ranking and a quick chat and instablog rating be separate. In my mind, comment ranking are a way for rewarding people to read and provide insightful comments on the people who are kind enough to post research on SA.
    24 Oct 2010, 12:48 AM Reply Like
  • Dialectical Materialist
    , contributor
    Comments (5080) | Send Message
     
    Moon, I understand your point, but there are folks in the top 100 who have never commented on anything other than Sirius. They cheerlead on SatWave articles and the massive cadre of Sirius fans show their support with their thumbs up. These yes-men, commenting in an "article thread" are contributing a heck of a lot less than most of the commenters here. And on other Insta's, like ones devoted to Lithium and HEV's (not all of which are articles) there are a core group of very educated (and opinionated) folks who bring a lot to the table. Many of John Lounsbury's Insta's never become articles but they are as good as or better than many articles, and the comments are as valid as articles comments. I haven't even touched on User's fine work on oil spills and swine flu.
    24 Oct 2010, 01:15 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19387) | Send Message
     
    "I likewise ask that the systematic up-thumbing that's clearly happening here stop"

     

    I decline to comply.

     

    You are trying to override a natural urge that I have to let folks I normally interact with know that I appreciate the fact that they have:

     

    1. Graciously donated their time and knowledge and thoughts in a manner that provides little benefit to themselves but enhances the likelihood that I will someday become a successful trader and/or investor,

     

    2. Have come together in this QC format to help improve the signal to noise ratio (SNR), coincidentally possibly benefiting SA in various ways,

     

    3. Tend to be "agnostic" in attitude with an apparently unbiased view of things that may affect the markets (even in politics, I find the assessments to be founded on rational and objective analysis even if the conclusions drawn are decidedly "anti" one side or the other),

     

    4. Tend to tolerate, even encourage, differences in POV without turning the discussion into something completely inappropriate.

     

    Whether it be here in the QC or in articles I'm reading, I tend to use the thumbs consistently for exactly the same reasons (for those reasons that apply). The one variance is that in articles I may not be as likely to "Thumbs Up" a person with whom I'm not familiar unless the comment really adds a lot to the results of the article and its comments.

     

    My nature, again.

     

    I give *very* few "Thumbs Down", usually only for clearly pejorative use of terms or "Yahoo-like" behavior. So most comments in other places are left untouched by me.

     

    With due respect, of course,
    HardToLove
    24 Oct 2010, 11:01 AM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    This week contains a lot to consider. We have VIX the lowest since April (18.78). VIX futures for November are 21, December 24, and January 26. That's a 40% increase!

     

    177 S&P companies will be reporting; seven DOW components, including Exon, Chevron and Microsoft.

     

    Same quarterly YoY S&P earnings are expected to be up 28%, better than recent expectations of 24%. The question isn't the glitz and glamor of the bottom lines expanding. We also need to see top line growth, too.

     

    Home sales, duarble goods, and GNP reports out. How often do these numbers come out higher than expected, than later on are lowered?

     

    S&P 10 day MA is 1175, and support. We get beneath 1175 significantly and we may see a pullback this week before the elections.

     

    All these ingedients make a good case for a volatile stew coming this week. Of course, being down over 200 in the DOW one day, and up 145 the next is the present norm, despite the current low VIX.
    23 Oct 2010, 08:32 PM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5179) | Send Message
     
    DM, I don't think Eli's comment was intended as an insult. You make many interesting observations worthy of thumbs up and deserve all the attention you get. Plus, you are so damn funny I'd rather read your comments than listen to Comedy Central.
    But sometimes, there are comments that aren't particularly note worthy or clever. (I make my share of stupid ones, I'm about to do it with the comments below). Eli's right, it isn't a popularity contest. And conversely, it shouldn't be used as a bludgeon, either. Sometimes it is used as a bludgeon, and that's wrong too.
    OK, that's all I have to say on the subject of thumbs. I know a terrible joke about thumbs. It's tasteless. You are forwarned.
    Here it is:
    There was an old waiter who had terrible arthritis in his thumbs. Every opportunity he got, he'd stick his thumbs in the bowl of soup he was carrying to a patron, or in the dinner, to keep his poor, arthritic, stiff thumbs warm.
    One customer became more and more enraged, since every dish had the waiter's thumbs in it.
    Finally, the patron exploded. "Stick your thumbs up your A$$!", he thundered.
    "Oh, I do, whenever there's no soup", the Waiter replied.
    That's a joke translated from German.
    Oy, gee.

     

    By the way, (ORL) is a potash play as well as lithium. Has anyone taken a look at it?
    Best regards to all....
    peace and profits.
    23 Oct 2010, 09:30 PM Reply Like
  • Dialectical Materialist
    , contributor
    Comments (5080) | Send Message
     
    OG, I liked the joke but appreciated the warning ;)

     

    If you think I'm funny it's only because I make cracks when I don't have anything intelligent to add (hence more cracks then anything else).

     

    The whole thumb thing is trivial and silly except that it is a system and as such it has a relevance within the context of the site. It's really one of the gimicks of the site and since it helps set SA apart from other sites it becomes VERY relevant.

     

    If I still care enough tomorrow, I'll do a blog about what I think is wrong and what some solutions are. Maybe with others commenting with ideas, SA can glean something they may want to use to refine their site. If the rating system went away I don't think I would care. But as long as it exists, I do care. That pretty much describes my relationship with the NFL too. And some girlfriends I've had...
    23 Oct 2010, 11:07 PM Reply Like
  • SA Eli Hoffmann
    , contributor
    Comments (990) | Send Message
     
    I say this with all sincerity: I am waiting with bated breath for your suggestions and the ensuing discussion.

     

    While we're far from perfect, and have (and probably will) make many mistakes, we value the SA community immensely. The ideas that come from people who use the site regularly and enthusiastically are often the catalysts for changes we make. In fact, I think we need to create a more user-friendly forum for people to (respectfully) share and pitch ideas about site improvements, and would love a suggestion as to how to get the broader community more involved in just such issues.

     

    (DM, there was no ill-respect intended in my previous comment. I cite QCs often at management meetings as an example of strange and wonderful things that can happen that you never expected.)
    24 Oct 2010, 02:01 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19387) | Send Message
     
    This thread will end up being mostly a re-hash of a prior effort that resulted in no action or benefit, AFAICT. Was it David who was involved? I don't recall. If you can't find it, I might be willing do some digging and give you a link.

     

    In a more general vein, I'm pessimistic that any benefit will come of this effort. In the past, issues have been discussed with SA folks about the thumbs, TOU "selective enforcement", etc.

     

    AFAICT, no results have ever come of those discussions.

     

    In order to avoid polluting this QC, if you wish a more thorough interchange as to why I have this view, feel free to PM me and I will be willing to expend some *reasonable* (in my view) amount of effort to dredge up e-mails between SA and myself, old comments by myself and others that demonstrate the (apparent) futility of bring convergence between the goals of a group of private users with private goals and the (apparently) commercial goals of SA.

     

    I don't mean to imply that the commercial goals are bad - it does benefit folks like me in providing a forum that is of great value. But there does seem, in terms of results, to be a divergence among the various TOU-type documents' statements and SA's execution to meet the goals and rules laid out in them.

     

    The TOU-related items have been touched upon in past comments by Freya and others, including me, just as have the "Thumbs" issues.

     

    Do keep in mind that I really don't like to let the problems of others become mine, so I will not tend to devote inordinate amounts of time or effort to a "re-hash" that could be mostly done internal to SA without involvement of this "community". I'd rather put the workload back on SA than to have it put upon us users *again*.

     

    Especially when I'm convinced by past behavior, which *tends* to repeat, that little if any good will come of it.

     

    HardToLove
    24 Oct 2010, 11:24 AM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10491) | Send Message
     
    Eli, Hoffman: Greetings. You may wish to read through QC #110 as Oy, Gee initiated a discussion regarding the current peer rating system. I found the suggestions and observations there very thought provoking and I'm sure you will to. On the 21, OCT Wall Street Breakfast the SA User Buzzer asserts that the SA staff actively suppresses his ratings. While he makes thousands of comments most are just one liners and I rarely pay much attention. However I don't give him thumbs down and do occasionally enjoy his comments enough to warrant a thumb up.
    24 Oct 2010, 12:08 PM Reply Like
  • Moon Kil Woong
    , contributor
    Comments (13181) | Send Message
     
    I do not thing instablog thumbing up or down should be censored. And there is value in keeping people involved. All I mention is that it would be better if instablogging ratings were a separate category from article commenting.

     

    I also realize other top bloggers may only comment on gold, Sirius, etc. So I agree many instabloggers do contribute more to SA discussions than such people. However, it's hard to get 10,000 votes on such a thin topic and if you do you probably surely are violating the SA voting system.

     

    Anyway, I enjoy this quick chat. I just wish it refreshed more often because a line with 150 comments is hard to read.
    25 Oct 2010, 11:35 AM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5179) | Send Message
     
    You are not kidding, Eli. Our research is excellent for a bunch of little individual investors. We have all made money from pitching ideas around and sharing the burden of due diligence. Plus, the venue gives me a chance to have a reality check; is what I perceive in the markets reality, fear, or paranoia? How can I protect myself? These are issues that I wrestle with daily, and this venue helps me with the most difficult aspects of speculating in the markets in my small humble way. I have also "met" people far different from myself. I enjoy the diversity. Being an insomniac, it gives me a place to go in the middle of the quiet night, a powerful sounding board. I also love the fact that anyone can jump in, with virtually no restrictions other than common polite decency. I thank SA for allowing us to create our little safe haven.
    24 Oct 2010, 02:07 AM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5179) | Send Message
     
    One more comment-- Eli, if you want to know where to go, I suggest that greater links for pink sheets stocks would be an improvement.
    Especially in emerging investment areas like REEs, where almost all of the players are pink sheet stocks, it would be great if we could hit a link that would take us somewhere! Thanks for asking.
    24 Oct 2010, 02:44 AM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5179) | Send Message
     
    Also, I think some people have escaped into the Stocktalks area of this website to avoid the grading system.
    24 Oct 2010, 02:59 AM Reply Like
  • Dialectical Materialist
    , contributor
    Comments (5080) | Send Message
     
    I ranted a bit (but in a good way I hope) on the whole thumbs thing here:

     

    seekingalpha.com/insta...
    24 Oct 2010, 04:38 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13581) | Send Message
     
    It might be that the site really does not want to encourage Instablog activity, per se. Eliminating them would focus comments on the "published" articles. The hordes of articles which go un-noticed by comments must be irritating, after all the hard work building the library and creating a support system for the authors.

     

    Eli, I recently did several Searches from the SA front page, and returned hits from just the articles and their commentary - nothing from the SA Instablogs. Is this a strategic decision of some kind, or is there a way to search ALL of SA? I just made entries and hit the button on the page.

     

    Hundreds of thousands of comments being wasted on instablogs (shoot, the QC's alone must reperesent over 10,000 substantive comments) rather than articles can't be the preferred outcome by the site owners. Imagine the google metrics if all the instablog comments were attached to the library of articles...

     

    OG's earlier suggestions regarding resetting rankings each year - and establishing emeritus status for past years - has real value, and I want to endorse them in the strongest possible terms.

     

    Eli, do, please, read back over the past QC's as much as you can. I realize its slow going (insta's over 80 comments long drag terribly), and the constant litany of annoying error messages regarding hung up scripts get old, but there really is a lot of meat on this particular bone.

     

    As to the various individual dispersal of thumbs, up or down, I can only comment that I tend to be quite liberal with them, even in articles where I do not leave a comment. Often I will give a thumb to a comment which essentially says what I was thinking (therefore rendering an actual comment just a waste of my time, and those of the reader wading through redundancy). Any positive thumbs I ever get will always be viewed by me as a gift I can never fully earn, though I try. Negative thumbs are something I might expect when I elect to enter a political debate or disagree directly with someone's opinions, judgement, or cherished dreams. That is just the natural outcome of such comments, and I doubt anyone minds that result here (I know that I don't). Again, in those cases, the thumbs could well be standing in place of a redundant comment with no value content ("Yeah, me too!" doesn't add much to a discussion).
    24 Oct 2010, 02:02 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10491) | Send Message
     
    Ditto! See?
    24 Oct 2010, 02:36 PM Reply Like
  • Moon Kil Woong
    , contributor
    Comments (13181) | Send Message
     
    Resetting voting every year will lose a majority of those who have taken the time and effort to comment for years on SA. Likewise, you can tell a lot by reading people's comments dating years back. In short: flamers, stock promoters, charlatans, and bogus posters are all pretty much exposed over the course of years.

     

    As for negative voting, I get a lot of negative votes for simply telling economic truth. I suppose that's why economics is not popular and is called the grim science. People can be political but politically its a simple fact that no political party has been consistently on the right side of economic choice. Both parties are at fault for running up the deficit (defense or social programs), taxing, expanding government into the private sector, allowing TBTF banks to exist, allowing Federal Reserve QE, supporting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, allowing Glass-Stegall to die and not re-instituting it, etc. Vote me down, such votes tend to be a sign of general public ignorance and partisanship more than anything else.
    25 Oct 2010, 11:40 AM Reply Like
  • Dialectical Materialist
    , contributor
    Comments (5080) | Send Message
     
    Moon, I think the idea would be to keep the comments, just reset the vote. And you'd still be recognized in some way with some kind of symbol or badge or something that denoted that you were a top ten commenter in 2010. So someone glancing at your comment in a thread would know "Hey this guy is the real deal." And it could inspire others to strive for "credibility" as well. Right now even the most serious and valuable commenter who has just discovered this site would have a hard time cracking the top 100 and would never sniff the top 20. This is probably not incentivizing these folks to contribute or at the very least is under-representing their credibility as posters.

     

    Someone of your level of interest and intelligence should wind up doing well in such a rating system, perhaps achieving top 10 for several years in a row. This would only add to your status and only further demonstrate your level of commitment. As such, I don't think it would scare off long time commenters, do you?

     

    What I don't like about this idea is that without better policing of trolls, it would incentivize knocking others down early in the year.

     

    Some other simple tweaks that haven't been mentioned are not ranking the commenters except by group (top 10, top 20, top 50, etc.) so that there would be no "foot race" for thumbs up. Not showing the score of other commenters in the top 100 page could help too. By showing the stats that make up the rating they are almost fueling competition. Where there is competition there will be cheating, and where there is no enforcement of rules, there will be A LOT of cheating.
    25 Oct 2010, 12:02 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19387) | Send Message
     
    An investing idea from John Petersen, "Maxwell Technologies: Important Stop-Start Design Win".

     

    I believe this will be with an intermediate-term horizon.

     

    seekingalpha.com/artic...

     

    Just today I saw an article that new mileage requirements are to be announced by the EPA. "Govt Proposing That Many Trucks Improve Efficiency".

     

    abcnews.go.com/Busines...

     

    Thanks to bidd24 @ Yahoo!

     

    I've not figured out if all this will really benefit (CPST) or not. The improved emmissions might because exhaust after-treatment is really expensive. But Capstone would really need to look at multiple-compression stages to get the efficiency to where it just buries the traditional diesel, as improved upon over the years by such firms as Cummins.

     

    However, using the current (CPST) products in an HEV with the full complement of re-generative braking, the improve recuperator expected in a couple of years and even better battery cost and performance attributes might provide a win on the mileage side that complements the current win on the emissions side.

     

    *sigh* Again, more patience, more patience. I need more patience and I need it *NOW* Mommy! (stomping of foot)! :-))

     

    HardToLove
    24 Oct 2010, 03:03 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    So perfect, Hard! Petersen mentioned four stop/start stocks to own. He mentioned (JCI). I own that one. Mentioned Exide (XIDE). Have that one, too. Of course, John mentioned Axion (AXPW). You know I have a piece of this company. But the first company to the stop/start starting line, Maxwell technologies, the one I don't own!
    24 Oct 2010, 07:41 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19387) | Send Message
     
    "Special Release: Clear Capital™ Reports Sudden and Dramatic Drop in U.S. Home Prices"

     

    Most recent data shows a two-month 5.9% price decline representing a magnitude and speed of decline not seen since March 2009; similar declines for September and October expected to appear in other industry indices in coming months.

     

    clearcapital.com/compa...

     

    there's a brief blurb about their proprietary index and premium service and a prediction that Case-Shiller will show similar results about two months down the road.

     

    Thanks to Wall Street Sector Selector for the link in "The Fireworks Are About to Start" here seekingalpha.com/artic...

     

    HardToLove
    24 Oct 2010, 04:40 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19387) | Send Message
     
    A series of videos on QE2 from Ciovacco Capital Management

     

    ciovaccocapital.com/vi...

     

    Too basic for many here, I suspect, but I have plenty of large black holes of ignorance to attempt to fill - a losing proposition with black holes, of course..

     

    HardToLove
    24 Oct 2010, 06:57 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13581) | Send Message
     
    This overly jovial fellow has a very upbeat view of what's going on with G20, China, and the whole ball of wax:

     

    seekingalpha.com/artic...

     

    I don't really agree with him - he is incredibly fond of large geopolitical "blocs" to make him feel secure (security blanket image). Observe that everyone gets one except the United States - I suppose in his world we comprise "them".

     

    He seems very certain that Asia (presumably including Japan) has now utterly capitulated to China, and is now going to start behaving as one of his beloved "blocs".

     

    Since I believe he's got about 50% of his predictions wrong, this is one to bookmark. Oh, I'm not arguing that this G20 meeting saw a particularly idiotic proposal from the American side [shudder, it does me real damage to write that reality given what comprises our delegation right now], but viewing a unity AGAINST something as loony as Geithner's ideas as some sort of turning point is absurd. The hurdles to regional unity are far more complex!
    24 Oct 2010, 07:14 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    For the time being, I'm wiping shippers off my list of investable ideas:

     

    www.bloomberg.com/news...
    24 Oct 2010, 09:56 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Mark: I noticed that you said the S&P golden crossover just occurred, eee ahh, as I predicted this would happen, some number of times. So did NASDAQ. Both indexes 50/200 cross over moving averages just did their thing. What is little noticed, is that the DOW 50/200 happened almost a month ago!

     

    So now we have all three sharing the golden 50/200 day historically moving averages going bullish.

     

    If one examines the history of bullish crossovers of the 50/200 day, there is a wildly upside significant percentage that the markets will continue upward.

     

    This is going to be a very volatile week. But the charts show, if one went all in last week, or the week before, they should be ahead of the game by the end of this coming week.

     

    No offense to some of you bears in this column, but I've been saying for months now that your bearishness is wrong...again for all reasons preposterous.

     

    I invest, in my gamer account radically. Pretty sure that tomorrow I'll make thousands.

     

    What bums me is that perhaps Freya, One Eye, DM and myself are the only ones here that are bullish. I'm the one who has vacillated.

     

    Laughing at all comments about buy and hold is dead. No offense, pals. I have shares I bought January to June 2009 of certain companies (GE) to (ATPG) to (TCK) to (WFC) and more that I will never sell.

     

    I absolutely believe there are more for us to seek and find that are long term holds. I just do not believe that buy and hold is dead. Bums me that some of you pals are not on board. You would have made a lot of money...so far.
    25 Oct 2010, 12:32 AM Reply Like
  • Dialectical Materialist
    , contributor
    Comments (5080) | Send Message
     
    It's fair to say I'm more bullish than bearish -- as you say for outrageous reasons. But I don't think I should stop to wave at folks on the sidelines and holler, "Look at all the nickels I am picking up in front of this steam roller." Because in my case that is exactly what I'm doing. I'm making minor gains on small positions while fighting this impending sense of dread. Yes, I'm bullish. But I am expecting to get flattened real soon if I can't move fast enough.
    25 Oct 2010, 02:25 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19387) | Send Message
     
    Like DM, I'm picking up nickles. Having first started trading in late 2007 knowing zero, and so riding the wave all the way down, naturally selling at the bottom and garnering nothing from the move back up, I became overly cautious as I began trying to educate myself. The education is on-going and I've noticed a longer trend in myself to be able to make more positive moves.

     

    As with putting losses behind me, I also do not rue opportunities missed. If I'm to avoid making stupid mistakes I have to do this so that I make rational, rather than emotional, decisions.

     

    I am more than happy to be wrong and pick up nickles for now and am glad that those with more experience continue to profit and share their thoughts and ideas. And I'm *pleased* for their success.

     

    I know that through this process I will survive and, eventually, prosper. And after enough time, prosper to a greater degree than I could have on my own.

     

    I do appreciate that you have called it right and am glad for you that you did. I do not regret having been bearish - being wrong more often than right is just a necessary part of my learning curve or maybe just a part of the caution that allows me to get those nickles and not get steam-rolled.

     

    HardToLove

     

    P.S. I'm short-term bullish on the market, long-term bearish, due to many policies and actions on the political and economic front. Blending these two concerns, and having to limit my exposure to a certain degree, as risk management, causes me to miss opportunities. I can be comfortable with that.
    25 Oct 2010, 07:50 AM Reply Like
  • Moon Kil Woong
    , contributor
    Comments (13181) | Send Message
     
    The biggest thing I noticed is tech is now separating from the general market. When tech moves up without market support that generally tends to show a reversion to normalcy in an up market since tech is typically a primary driver to a bull market and a better standard of living.
    25 Oct 2010, 11:49 AM Reply Like
  • Joseph L. Shaefer
    , contributor
    Comments (1704) | Send Message
     
    Geopolitical news (or morning humor, if you have the stomach for it...)

     

    For those who missed it, 8 days ago Syria and Iran were selected to serve on the UN's Disarmament Commission, which notes on its website, "The Office [all caps, of course, to let us know how important they are] promotes the goal of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation..." ROTFL

     

    We can only hope that the current Iranian thugs, er, government, brings the same sense of honesty, openness, and fair play to this UUNB (Useless UN Body) as they do to the other on which they serve, the UN Commission on the Status of Women, which is "dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women," according to its website.

     

    Here's is the Iranian ambassador to the UN's contribution to gender equality and advancement of women upon being appointed to this UUNB: "It is my honor to represent a country whose respect for women and the dignity of women is rooted in its ideological beliefs and cultural past... [However, there is] persisting and rife discrimination and violence against women, in particular, in France, Norway, Slovakia, Sweden, Luxembourg and Ireland."

     

    Here's an idea: Let's supervise open borders and see how many Swedish, Norwegian, Irish et al women want to escape to Iran with their families -- and then how many Iranian women, if they knew they could get their entire family out with them, would make the journey in the opposite direction.

     

    Thank heavens for the UN. Whenever I need a little humor, albeit gallows humor, they stand ready to provide it...
    25 Oct 2010, 11:55 AM Reply Like
  • lower98th
    , contributor
    Comments (1411) | Send Message
     
    Not unlike Khrushchev on a factory floor, commenting on the elevated state of women in the USSR compared to the US. Looking around, he said "our women work."
    25 Oct 2010, 12:28 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19387) | Send Message
     
    CNBC just now, TIPS just sold at negative yield for first time ever.

     

    HardToLove
    25 Oct 2010, 01:08 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10491) | Send Message
     
    If you bought a TIP and it goes negative do you owe money? LOL. The formula used to calculate inflation these days must be akin to the one used to select high caliber movies for MST3K. Very mysterious. Housing estimated to be falling like a rock while food stuffs march steadily upward.
    25 Oct 2010, 01:22 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13581) | Send Message
     
    LOL, that's right, Robert, folks won't mind more expensive food so long as their house is worth less every month!
    25 Oct 2010, 01:41 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13581) | Send Message
     
    Don't get the mistaken impression that I've suddenly become a bull, but...

     

    I continue to accumulate stocks, slowly whittling away at my store of cash:

     

    Bought additional: (ATPG), (FRMSF.PK), (GBG) [yes, I'm thinking that there is less chance of a major PM correction, for the moment, but I continue to believe that this is a rigged game - but of course, the only such game in town], (GELYF.PK) [I like the direction Volvo is going, and when these guys crank it up in China, look out... Ford screwed up selling Volvo, particularly at such a cheap price.], (GPRLF.PK), (NATUF.PK), (PAL), (PBT), (SLW)

     

    Sold: (TNK) and (MVO).
    25 Oct 2010, 01:46 PM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5179) | Send Message
     
    Portland Maine wants to give people who aren't US citizens the right to vote in local elections. I had no idea that in some localities, citizens of other countries are permitted to vote. I often use the comparison of the Fall of Rome to the fall of the USA, it's a good simile.
    That's really disturbing!
    www.theledger.com/arti...
    25 Oct 2010, 02:13 PM Reply Like
  • Silentz
    , contributor
    Comments (716) | Send Message
     
    I saw this last night. I almost choked. If they really want to vote so badly, there's a perfect solution. Become a citizen!!! I believe someone once wrote up some rules on how to become one...
    25 Oct 2010, 02:22 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19387) | Send Message
     
    Re shipping, ref maya's post.

     

    From my tracking of the Intertanko Indicative rates, no longer available, there are confirmations of the downtrend in shipping rates, especially in the VLCC class where a *large* increase in new builds started during the big oil run up a few years ago. Most of these are due to come on-line this and next year.

     

    However, in other classes, such as the Suezmax, which I was tracking, the decline wasn't as near as striking, nor as consistent or long-lived.

     

    For the near term, I fully believe that oil carriers will suffer declining day rates and only those companies mostly under long-term charter will do well.

     

    But there's another issue I want to raise, although it is certainly not yet current.

     

    QE2.

     

    As we saw when oil was projected to go to $100, $150, $200, ... there was a nasty little side-effect. Big players in the futures market bought oil and stored it on the tankers, reducing the availability of tankers for actual shipping.

     

    I'm proposing that somewhere in the near future we may see this start to play out again, due to QE2.

     

    Dollar already flying like a homesick brick, oil popped over $80 already and I would think it will continue moves up not only because of the dollar, but also because of steady or increasing demand in emerging markets as long as they have *some* market of substance that they can sell into. Do they? I can't be sure in this environment.

     

    Anyway, I think we should be looking for some source of spot day rates and a source of reliable and timely information on tankers being used for storage. A proxy for this may exist for anyone who follows the futures by watching for a big and long-term contango situation. If it exists, GS, JPM and others will certainly consider playing the game again.

     

    Thoughts? Will history repeat in this area? If so, will it have enough effect to substantially affect tanker availability and, therefore, day rates?

     

    If not, and you are holding shares in an oil shipping company, be sure and consider whether or not it is mostly under long-term charter or more exposed to spot day rates, as well as the class of ships in the fleet - that will make a difference.

     

    HardToLove
    25 Oct 2010, 02:31 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    HTL: I believe Freya addressed this issue. Memory's foggy, but I believe there is one class of ships that is still in demand. For me though, with all the champagne bottles being taken to new hulls next year, there appears to be a glut making this whole sector slow growth and high risk. Plus, there is the Greek default issue that I believe hasn't gone away.

     

    Funny, Fast Money's Finerman is talking about this right now!
    25 Oct 2010, 05:26 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13581) | Send Message
     
    I just bailed on (TNK) for similar reasons, Maya, HTL.

     

    But I added to (ATPG) and some oil royalty trusts.

     

    I decided I lacked sufficient insight into the tanker picture, but I really do think we are looking at pricier oil going forward.
    25 Oct 2010, 02:40 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10491) | Send Message
     
    Greetings all. Didn't we have a discussion regarding this topic? I think User did a concentrator for energy and peripheral plays. That was maybe late 2008 or early 2009. I'm not at work so I don't have my notes handy. I'll look at my detail screen because I think I bought (SUG) and (PWE) around that time frame.
    25 Oct 2010, 03:01 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Patriot Coal (PCX) is up 6.56% today. Seems there's rumor floating around about how Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) are on the prowl to acquire another coal miner.

     

    In the below article it was speculated Cliffs was targeting Massey for a potential buy, for a whopping $62.00/share--(MEE) presently @ $41.76. However, Cliff's available cash is suspect for such an acquisition. This increases other coal outfits potential for being acquired:

     

    blogs.barrons.com/stoc...

     

    Added a few shares of Patriot to the gamer board today, only a few shares because I need some more comfirmation before jumping in with greater vigor. I don't know how much or what this means nowadays, but pre-Lehman, PCX was a $153 stock, currently, $13.63. Off to Tickerspy to track other coal miners.

     

    I'd feel a little better making some $ back in the coal biz, having once been Massey-quered.

     

    Adding...Patriot Coal reported a Q3 loss of 51 cents.
    25 Oct 2010, 02:50 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19387) | Send Message
     
    Insider selling recent turned from bullish to bearish: selling:buying 40:1

     

    CNBC "Closing Bell", video with two panelists will discuss it. Video should be available later for those who want to listen to it at cnbc.com.

     

    HardToLove
    25 Oct 2010, 04:14 PM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5179) | Send Message
     
    Did you see this Barbara Boxer spoof?
    www.youtube.com/watch?...
    25 Oct 2010, 04:22 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19387) | Send Message
     
    LoL! Just call me "Unemployed", I worked so hard to get that ...

     

    HardToLove
    25 Oct 2010, 04:37 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    OyGee: Freat find. Very funny spoof.

     

    ####

     

    My health insurance company just wrote me this: "We wish to advise you we are working diligently to comply with new requirements under federal health care reform. At this time, we are not able to allow changes to your current health plan."

     

    Of course, this comes with a new higher monthly charge.
    25 Oct 2010, 05:16 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13581) | Send Message
     
    LOL, yes, I had a debate with a fellow who was convinced that Obamacare meant that (and I quote):

     

    "You guys are stupid! Its a fantastastic law! Now they can never drop you from your insurance, or raise the cost!"

     

    When I shook my head and told him he didn't understand the new (1995 page) bill, it almost came to blows.

     

    My prediction then was simply: "It is going to be a very expensive program". Period.

     

    Luckily, I am a foot taller than him, so just walking away was sufficient.

     

    I'm currently covered by Kaiser Permanente. I expect our monthly payments to once again skyrocket (just like they did last year). They are late sending out their "...its Renewal time, here are your options..." notice - a worrisome development.
    25 Oct 2010, 05:23 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (9553) | Send Message
     
    See this on mortgagegate. spells it out very clearly.

     

    part one
    seekingalpha.com/artic...

     

    part two
    seekingalpha.com/artic...
    25 Oct 2010, 04:24 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13581) | Send Message
     
    The estimates of how much QE we can expect in the coming months MIGHT be understated. I've gone on record with a $1trillion figure, but now GS is indicating it might be a lot more (quoted in a bloomberg article):

     

    [quote] The Fed may purchase $2 trillion of assets to stimulate the U.S. economy, starting with a program of about $500 billion of buying over six months that is likely to be announced at the November meeting, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) said in a note to clients. [quote]

     

    The $500billion sounds familiar - and we have been informed it would be done in $100billion monthly squirts - but $2trillion?

     

    That's a lot of money.

     

    IF this is true (and this is one of those times when that little "if" word is REALLY big), everything changes. This puts the timeframe for QE out another year, with a chance that the market's "pre-baked" $1 trillion is about right for the 6 month operating lead the markets try to keep ahead of the calendar.

     

    This could be a game changer, particularly IF (there's that annoying little word again) the G19 (less the lying, cheating United States, of course) actually DOES hold the line on their currencies while the dollar drops (we could see historic lows with a further $trillion or two added to the dilutionary pile). We could be revisiting last year's lows shortly...

     

    Needless to say, this bears CLOSE watching.
    25 Oct 2010, 05:54 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13581) | Send Message
     
    OK, finally came to some conclusions vs precious metals and 2011.

     

    First item, a pm we used to talk a lot about, palladium... Currently over $600/oz, well above my old goal for this year of $550. (PAL) has been good, hasn't it, Maya? Anyway, I am targeting palladium to hit $800 next year, and that could be too conservative.

     

    Silver is in a groove, and once again the mountain of silver shorts are piled on its back like Everest. Even so, I see the "other" pm hitting $35 in 2011.

     

    Gold is still subject to its fiat masters, but they have been letting the leash out a little of late. Expect another up year for the yellow stuff, to $1550 (but not as high as GS is projecting).

     

    REE's are going to become the "new" metal asset class in 2011. I see those prices as ready to run, with some high prices not seen before for the more "common" rare earths (while some of the more "rare" heavy rare earths will not enjoy near the price growth, though some will remain quite costly from scarcity rather than dynamic market demand).

     

    Tungsten will quietly continue to grow, with perhaps a 30% upside.

     

    Long: (BPMSF.PK), (EOXFF.PK), (FRMSF.PK), (GBG), (GDLNF.PK), (GPRLF.PK), (GWMGF.PK), (HUDRF.PK), (KGILF.PK), (LYSCF.PK), (MCP), (MLLOF.PK), (MXOM.OB), (NATUF.PK), (PAL), and (SLW).
    25 Oct 2010, 07:22 PM Reply Like
  • Mark Bern, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (7180) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Please go to QC # 112 at the following link:

     

    seekingalpha.com/insta...
    25 Oct 2010, 07:26 PM Reply Like
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