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Interesting Times
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I could put on this bio my education, work experience, investment strategy, and a nice thin (if I can find one) picture of me in a suit looking *smart*. Sorry but that's not my intent here. Sure I invest, help family make financial decisions, and make a ton of mistakes along the way. But my time... More
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Interesting Times For All Commodities And Investments!! CHAPTER 4......
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  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Appreciate opinions on this article about the jobs report. It seems mixed but overall are were heading in the right direction?

     

    http://huff.to/1aN0TxW

     

    Plus this article on tough times ahead !

     

    http://bit.ly/1aN1Vd9
    8 Dec 2013, 10:51 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3427) | Send Message
     
    Suprisingly objective for HuffPo. Was good to see the increase in factory jobs. And whether mandated or not, older folks continue to work. Probably out of necessity. Healthcare is expensive on a fixed income, and it's just going higher into the future.

     

    I didn't read the other one, considering the source.

     

    Been a long time, but how 'bout dem Packers? :) All 3 NFC North games were good ones.

     

    Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...
    8 Dec 2013, 11:33 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » You get Rodgers back and that tie will be a huge advantage!
    8 Dec 2013, 11:41 PM Reply Like
  • Fear & Greed Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (4091) | Send Message
     
    Simple answer, - yes i believe we are headed in the right direction with jobs, -- I m going to post a comment on just that with a couple of interesting facts in my blog later today - i will post a link..

     

    My stance on the PM's remains the same - the article seems like he is grasping at straws to make a case for them now .. wonder if he has held them all the way down ..
    9 Dec 2013, 08:35 AM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » FEAR

     

    A lurker asked me why is gold bouncing back once it hits around $1220 per ounce. I don't read charts so do you or anyone else have an opinion on this?

     

    Thanks!
    13 Dec 2013, 05:57 PM Reply Like
  • Fear & Greed Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (4091) | Send Message
     
    IT,
    as of the moment there is a descending trendline that has capped all rallies in Gold , that trendline sits just above the 1280 level..

     

    We had a recent run to 1261 on 12/8 , it was capped there ,

     

    Unless gold gets to break above this trendline and can sustain that move , that trendline will dictate the future price.

     

    I would expect to see gold under pressure until year end as managers flush out anything that has underperformed this year to use as a tax loss against gains ,,

     

    Perhaps a rebound of sorts in the first part of '14 .. I was giving that some thought this aft and maybe will write a few comments on my blog about that possibility in a few days ...

     

    Hope this helps ...

     

    13 Dec 2013, 06:10 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » FEAR

     

    I think they were asking if there was support at around $1220 ? That it seems to not break much below that.

     

    I am thinking maybe they want to invest in something related to gold if it has lower support. Buying something if it again hits or has support in that area.

     

    Just a guess on my part. I try to ask the lurkers to post on their own but for whatever reason they choose not to. I thought the question was worth posting.

     

    Post that link once you do put in on your blog

     

    Thanks!
    13 Dec 2013, 06:17 PM Reply Like
  • Macrotrader100
    , contributor
    Comments (2601) | Send Message
     
    I agree F and G. I am long an Mreit, as I think rates have topped out. And any taper would actually cause rates to decline.

     

    Look at the history of what rates have done as QE winds down.

     

    I actually think long 30 yr treasuries re getting close to a slam dunk trade here. This could also bounce PM's. Long a silver stock, Pan American, that have based for this.

     

    Shorts offsetting are a new one in twitter, I covered at 41 and reshorted at 59. Getting ridiculous. Also short Joy, couple of coal stocks. No interest in tesla.
    14 Dec 2013, 12:01 PM Reply Like
  • Fear & Greed Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (4091) | Send Message
     
    Macro,

     

    I hear you on the TWTR short. It's a momentum play into the end of the year that has gone parabolic.! . I believe that is the doings of the hedgies that are looking for some alpha into year end ..

     

    If it stays here or runs more , it mat be set up for a big drop in Jan .

     

    Watch the coal stocks & JOY for that matter , if you stay short ----these dogs will bounce after they are flushed out in Dec. remember the dogs of the dow theory -- HPQ a great example of that this year..
    14 Dec 2013, 02:26 PM Reply Like
  • Macrotrader100
    , contributor
    Comments (2601) | Send Message
     
    Yes, I agree with that. I would love to buy coal here instead -- but it may be too early. There is so much supply out there and opposition from Obama and the EPA is relentless. A change there would be huge for coal, along with perhaps $5 nat gas. All might be too early...

     

    Stocks like Clf, FCx, Btu all might have huge bounces. Perhaps gold miners too.
    14 Dec 2013, 02:53 PM Reply Like
  • Fear & Greed Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (4091) | Send Message
     
    Mac,

     

    all seem ilke good choices , i currently own FCX and have for a while ,, Nice Dividend and they surprised this year with a special div also
    14 Dec 2013, 04:17 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » GUYS

     

    A favor....If you are talking about a specific stock could you put brackets around it s that it can be just glossed over for readers to see the name of it.

     

    Like GM... JUST (GM) makes a difference for readers as you can see.

     

    Thanks!
    14 Dec 2013, 04:52 PM Reply Like
  • BlueSkyForever
    , contributor
    Comments (1283) | Send Message
     
    CNBC's latest article about gold

     

    http://cnb.cx/1jEmaS7

     

    ***But while Dow sniffs a trading opportunity, his long-held bearish view on gold has not changed. In the longer term, he believes that a rise in rates will "bring about the second leg down in the gold bubble."

     

    "I do think we get a rally in gold, but I hate gold," Dow said. "It's the brainless metal. Owning it drops your IQ by 10 points."***
    9 Dec 2013, 12:16 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » How can anyone hate gold?:)

     

    I honestly think that was a brainless comment...
    9 Dec 2013, 09:26 PM Reply Like
  • DeepValueLover
    , contributor
    Comments (7838) | Send Message
     
    Back in 2010, CNBC was slobbering over gold the way they slobber all over "Bitcoin" now.

     

    If Twitter, Tesla or Facebook falls apart one day they will talk badly about those stocks as if they always talked them down.

     

    F 'em.
    10 Dec 2013, 08:08 AM Reply Like
  • Fear & Greed Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (4091) | Send Message
     
    My Market update & thoughts on the recent economic reports

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...
    9 Dec 2013, 06:47 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Ok fellow investors. Why did they sell right now at a loss when the markets are suppose to be heading much higher?

     

    If I made trades like this ( actually made plenty) I would go broke!

     

    "Treasury exits rest of GM stake

     

    The U.S. government has sold the remainder of its stake in GM, with the final sale netting $9.2B. Out of $51B Treasury invested in the automaker, it recovered $39B."

     

    BUY $51 BILLION AND GET $39 BACK. Yup, sounds like my type of trades. So what am I missing here? Why not wait?
    9 Dec 2013, 09:25 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3427) | Send Message
     
    The answer to that is probably buried on page 3,271 of the "GM Acquisition Bill" that nobody but the DC lawyer squad read (or can understand).

     

    I hear it's on Ms. Pelosi's reading list, though... She still has a pile of stone tablets to work through first.
    9 Dec 2013, 09:31 PM Reply Like
  • DeepValueLover
    , contributor
    Comments (7838) | Send Message
     
    Why was GM "saved" and not Bear Stearns or Lehman?

     

    Does the government decide the "Americans worthy to be saved" based on which industry they work in?
    10 Dec 2013, 08:11 AM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (12442) | Send Message
     
    DVL:

     

    No, they decide based on how many labor-union voters they have.
    10 Dec 2013, 09:42 AM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I understand they might have a mandate. But changing a date doesn't seem to be impossible if you think you would get back more money in a year. Hell the FED is always messing with dates..

     

    IMO I think maybe they are unsure about next year.?
    10 Dec 2013, 06:49 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3427) | Send Message
     
    You really like to fight the facts of the way things are. :) It's just like a company with buybacks, for example. People chastise a company for buying back at a 'high' instead of waiting for a more favorable price. But it's just the way it is. They set dates, and that's it. The date comes, they execute their pre-planned trades, end of story.

     

    Exxon executes buybacks at highs all the time. It's just the way it is. GM may have tanked at a later date, too. They can't see the future any better than you or me.
    10 Dec 2013, 06:59 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » JBT

     

    I get your point about buybacks. But do these companies plan them 5 years in advance? I doubt it !

     

    So I am back to my original point. If I set a date to sell but feel if I wait another year I will make more money why can't the Govt do the same?

     

    All we hear is how much the economy is improving. That this company is paying a higher dividend. Then why not wait?

     

    But like you said maybe once you agree to bail someone out you have to stick to those dates. Not so sure that they have to but unless someone can shed some more light on this I guess your right .

     

    Not so sure we can go to the videotape on this because I don't believe it was ever done before..
    10 Dec 2013, 08:35 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3427) | Send Message
     
    Hehe. Then go back further... Why didn't the US become a 'big Buffett' and hold their dividend paying bank shares? Why don't they use our tax dollars to play the market?

     

    I mean, they could invest the whole wad amongst the Dow 30, then jiggle regulations or what not to make sure those companies would go up!

     

    A lot of moral hazard with the gubmint holding equities...
    10 Dec 2013, 09:08 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » JBT

     

    THEN I READ THIS ....

     

    "New executives plan to move into the CEO suites at two prominent companies that have been making headlines recently. Mary Barra, a longtime top manager at General Motors (GM), is shattering the glass ceiling, taking over as CEO from Daniel Akerson.

     

    Mary Barra An engineer who's held several important posts at GM, Bara will become the first woman to head a major auto company. GM also named a new board chairman from outside the company. The automaker's stock fell 1 percent on the news."

     

    "STOCK FELL 1% ON THE NEWS"....Hummm
    10 Dec 2013, 09:44 PM Reply Like
  • Land of Milk and Honey
    , contributor
    Comments (3129) | Send Message
     
    "but feel if I wait another year I will make more money"

     

    You're assuming they feel they can. Or feel they can't. Maybe they feel they shouldn't be guessing, so they just pick a date.

     

    The question would be - who's judgement should they use? The government has never passed a law that you do something "when it's good timing in the market."

     

    They'd have to have congress pass an amendment to put off the sell-off based on thinking it'd be better next year. That's an unlikely bill to be pushing & get floor attention. Particularly when politicians can now claim the gov't held up it's agreement to get out of that business.

     

    It's a business deadline picked. Nothing to read into it.

     

    @JBT
    Great analogy & explanation.
    10 Dec 2013, 09:57 PM Reply Like
  • Land of Milk and Honey
    , contributor
    Comments (3129) | Send Message
     
    Either she's personally not expected to do well as CEO.

     

    Or anti-feminism bias is alive and well.

     

    I don't know enough about Barra & GM's history to know which it is.
    10 Dec 2013, 10:00 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » LOMAH

     

    "It's a business deadline picked. Nothing to read into it."

     

    So you are saying that this particular DAY was pre determined??

     

    Somewhere it is written to sell a certain amount of shares on a certain day without concern about price?

     

    If so then I learned something.. I still have my doubts>>
    10 Dec 2013, 10:12 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » "Or anti-feminism bias is alive and well."

     

    So the stock drops 1% because it's a female?

     

    I doubt that is the reason... But by luck ALL of those (GM) stocks were already sold..
    10 Dec 2013, 10:15 PM Reply Like
  • Land of Milk and Honey
    , contributor
    Comments (3129) | Send Message
     
    I don't know if it was a date picked, or a particular quarter or, by when GM could buy out within some particular financial contraints... but that's the idea I was going for...
    10 Dec 2013, 10:18 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3427) | Send Message
     
    I linked an article that had the explanation earlier. They decided in November to liquidate their remaining 30 million shares by the end of this year. Monday just happened to be the day that they completed the sale of the final batch of shares.
    10 Dec 2013, 10:39 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Interesting !!!

     

    looks like they picked a great time to sell those (GM) shares huh? Must have great analyst:)
    12 Dec 2013, 12:44 AM Reply Like
  • Land of Milk and Honey
    , contributor
    Comments (3129) | Send Message
     
    @ IT

     

    You should hear some of the accidentally power-reducing ways I was referred to when I was leading my last project. I have no idea in this particular case & wouldn't judge it without looking.

     

    ... but the fact that there -is- a glass ceiling or perceived one to talk about... says it all. There are limits on women.

     

    In a case like this it'd be expressed as lack of confidence in the particular woman's ability to fill the role, and those doubting her would believe what they're telling themselves. All meanwhile it's really a lack of confidence because she's a woman.

     

    On a related side note, I watched a round table on MSNBC during Clinton's run for office that turned my stomach & I haven't watched them since. It was the completely classic demeaning and picking on her clothes, voice, "masculinity", and every superficial thing... that wasn't being used on the men they talked about in the same round table. It could have been pulled from classic social science studies on feminism's challenges. It was every way to complain and show fear about her right to have power.... (I wasn't crazy about her as a candidate, but that wasn't the point, to me.)

     

    The sale may not be by luck - wouldn't take much to figure on placing the sale before the "reaction" to the next Fed meeting. And to figure that sometime in the next three months tapering and a down turn would come, so why not get it over with. But unless someone's actively assigned to figure it (and have you identified anyone in that role?), it could easily be a loosely picked random date (& based on the Chrysler announcements earlier this year, it was.) Enough before Christmas to not have to do the paperwork when heading for vacation.
    12 Dec 2013, 02:13 AM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » TACK

     

    In the last chapter you gave a very long explanation why you had some concerns about how the markets were acting. A lurker wanted to know if you could simplify what is the concerns.

     

    I ,quite honestly, understood most of it but did not want to give out a posters information incorrectly. Would you mind trying to explain it more elementary if possible?

     

    I think the concern was wrapped around what might/could happen next year !

     

    Thanks..
    13 Dec 2013, 06:01 PM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (12442) | Send Message
     
    My concerns translate into two observations:

     

    1) Many go-go growth stocks, as well as the market generally, far exceed the growth rate of the economy in 2013. Now, some of 2013's market performance can be attributed to catching up on valuations, but to go forward, we need better growth, or the market will quickly settle down into a more lethargic pattern. If that occurs, yield-oriented issues will again be in favor.

     

    2) Recently, I have observed two market behaviors that i consider paradoxical: 1) rising interest rates and accompanying selling of yield issues, and, simultaneously, 2) strong selling of commodity and energy issues. These two behaviors are not compatible over time, so one or the other will reverse.
    13 Dec 2013, 06:30 PM Reply Like
  • Macrotrader100
    , contributor
    Comments (2601) | Send Message
     
    Those are exactly my concerns, per my long comment. Check out the parabolic move in Twitter.

     

    The risk is the public gets really burned again, and that is deflationary. The Fed should let some air out, but I doubt they will.

     

    On your other point, that is correct. I am buying Mreits as I think treasuries have bottomed here. Commodities tell the real story.
    13 Dec 2013, 07:06 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » MACRO

     

    So where do you expect gold and silver to be at the end of 2014 then? Lower ?

     

    Thanks!
    13 Dec 2013, 07:15 PM Reply Like
  • Macrotrader100
    , contributor
    Comments (2601) | Send Message
     
    Likely, yes.
    14 Dec 2013, 06:00 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I just don't understand this trade right now. Appreciate some thoughts as lurkers are confused as well..

     

    Why did our Govt take a LOSS when they are saying things are finally turning around?

     

    Good question...

     

    Unless things aren't what they seem???? Hummm
    9 Dec 2013, 10:33 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3427) | Send Message
     
    Seriously, I think it's just like a company with respect to buybacks... They probably had some sort of mandated timeline for liquidation. That, and it wasn't their money, anyways. A $12 billion loss means nothing to the pols.

     

    The government has lost touch with reality. Money is just something they spend.
    9 Dec 2013, 10:46 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » But it is the taxpayers money right? So why take a loss when things look rosy? Serious question because I don't understand the reasoning. I am sure I am missing things.
    9 Dec 2013, 10:59 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3427) | Send Message
     
    That was my point... There is no reasoning. It is "mechanical", for lack of a better word. There was probably a liquidation timetable, and they robotically stuck to it.
    9 Dec 2013, 11:01 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » You could be right. I never read about a timetable though.. Maybe the morning crew will add some flavor to this.. I am confused..

     

    Lets say they did not have a timetable.. Then why?
    9 Dec 2013, 11:10 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3427) | Send Message
     
    "Last month, Treasury reduced its GM stake to 2.2% and said it planned to sell the rest of the stock by year's end. Over the last few weeks, Treasury sold the approximately 30 million shares it had left, with the final sale coming Monday.
    ...
    Although the GM and Chrysler bailouts ended with a loss for taxpayers, Treasury officials said the goal never was to turn a profit. The rescues prevented further damage to the economy and the potential loss of 1 million jobs, Lew said."

     

    http://lat.ms/1djPxoh

     

    As you can see, it was planned, and executed.

     

    Also, as stated, they did not care whether or not they gained or lost on the deal.

     

    Out of touch. It's not their money.
    9 Dec 2013, 11:14 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Ok, I guess you are right !
    9 Dec 2013, 11:55 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Interesting article on tapering and IF it will happen..

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...
    10 Dec 2013, 12:35 AM Reply Like
  • Krustyman
    , contributor
    Comments (825) | Send Message
     
    Tapering or not, this bull is far from over.

     

    However, I do prefer parking spaces/lots to stocks at the moment. There is a great bull underway in parking spaces/lots folks.

     

    Cheers!
    Krusty :-)
    10 Dec 2013, 01:41 PM Reply Like
  • Land of Milk and Honey
    , contributor
    Comments (3129) | Send Message
     
    @Krusty - hi!

     

    How do you invest in parking lots? (I doubt the shopping center across the street will let me stake out a couple.)

     

    Why over stocks at the moment? Feeling like stocks have gotten ahead of themselves for the moment?
    10 Dec 2013, 11:24 PM Reply Like
  • BlueSkyForever
    , contributor
    Comments (1283) | Send Message
     
    Well if I could afford a parking lot, I wouldn't be worried about anything! Do tell us more Krusty, maybe there's a way to invest in this via Simon Property Group or some mall stock.
    11 Dec 2013, 02:08 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3427) | Send Message
     
    Mmmm... (MAC). They own lots of parking spaces. Nive dividend, too.
    11 Dec 2013, 03:00 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » BSF

     

    Plenty of empty parking spaces at the mall recently...Just sayin>>
    12 Dec 2013, 12:45 AM Reply Like
  • BlueSkyForever
    , contributor
    Comments (1283) | Send Message
     
    not in NJ….malls have been packed.
    12 Dec 2013, 09:26 AM Reply Like
  • BlueSkyForever
    , contributor
    Comments (1283) | Send Message
     
    more people are buying online too…tough on all retailers as the online buying just keeps increasing

     

    point is, people are buying ; )
    12 Dec 2013, 09:28 AM Reply Like
  • BlueSkyForever
    , contributor
    Comments (1283) | Send Message
     
    Here's some interesting news, the malls are now offering same day delivery to compete with online sales

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    mentions (MAC) & (SPG)

     

    ****disclosure**** I always buy online & ship to my mom & tp bro ; )

     

    This year, I'll check out costco.com & amazon.com. Sometimes I send stuff after Christmas too, because the deals in January are outstanding. That's always been hard for my son to understand tho. Despite my best efforts, he just isn't the super saver that his mom is.
    12 Dec 2013, 11:20 AM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » BSF

     

    I remember when I lived in Jersey some 20 years ago the malls were always packed. Even during non holiday times. I never understood that.

     

    Now that I live 60 miles away I can get a spot within 5 lanes from the main mall door. Amazing what a difference it is.
    12 Dec 2013, 12:40 PM Reply Like
  • BlueSkyForever
    , contributor
    Comments (1283) | Send Message
     
    IT, no one can figure out Jersey! ; )
    13 Dec 2013, 04:03 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » THOUGHTS ON THIS !!

     

    "JPMorgan moves in on Bitcoin?

     

    The bank this August filed a patent application for a computerized payment system allowing people to make anonymous, electronic payments over the Internet without having to reveal names or account numbers, or pay a fee.

     

    Banks, credit card operators, Google, Apple and PayPal all want a piece of the fast-growing mobile/Internet payments business, but this technology looks to be borrowing at least some aspects of Bitcoin as JPMorgan's (JPM) system involves creating "virtual cash" which would sit in an online wallet.

     

    “While new internet payment mechanisms have been rapidly emerging, consumers and merchants have been happily conducting a growing volume of commerce using basic credit card functionality,” says the bank in its application. "None of the emerging efforts to date have gotten more than a toehold in the market place and momentum continues to build in favor of credit cards.

     

    HUMM..
    10 Dec 2013, 06:45 PM Reply Like
  • BlueSkyForever
    , contributor
    Comments (1283) | Send Message
     
    sounds like a good way to launder money, just like bit coin….which fell something like 40% in the last week? or did I just make that up.
    11 Dec 2013, 02:09 PM Reply Like
  • Land of Milk and Honey
    , contributor
    Comments (3129) | Send Message
     
    BSF

     

    It dipped for a short while, then came right back up. ($2-300 movement.) I'm categorizing bitcoins as good for "betting" thing (is it a stock or what do you call it)?

     

    I don't think a money can last that has no guarentees behind it from a government or a person with a lot of weath of some kind to back it. Money depends on trust. Trust has to come from somewhere, when the chips are down.
    12 Dec 2013, 01:53 AM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » New Gallup pole showed that only 14% of Americans trust our Congress. Not sure what that really means but it is the lowest number I believe on record..
    12 Dec 2013, 12:37 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3427) | Send Message
     
    I'm surprised the number is as high as it is...
    12 Dec 2013, 12:40 PM Reply Like
  • CoinsK
    , contributor
    Comments (2477) | Send Message
     
    @ IT Maybe this is why they don't trust their Healthcare to the government. If they want to keep this president "They can keep him"

     

    The Cautious investor wrote : " In our history there have been a few national infrastructure projects, such as the interstate highway system, that have changed the lives of many for the better and improved our economic foundation to support greater commerce.

     

    However in recent history, our spending has been shaped by patronage, cronyism and politics as it was in the declining days of the Roman Empire. In the twilight years of the Roman Republic, the ambitious politicians realized that the easiest way to stay in power was to give the people what they wanted — in this case, free bread and gladiator games.

     

    "Today's politicians might be more sophisticated. They promise job creation, infrastructure projects, and tourism development. But it's really just another type of bread and circuses — lavishly spending government money to stay in office. Here are some ridiculous examples of wasteful government spending on bread and circuses."

     

    #1 A total of $3 million has been granted to researchers at the University of California at Irvine so that they can play video games such as World of Warcraft. The goal of this "video game research" is reportedly to study how "emerging forms of communication, including multi-player computer games and online virtual worlds such as World of Warcraft and Second Life can help organizations collaborate and compete more effectively in the global marketplace."

     

    #2 The U.S. Department of Agriculture gave the University of New Hampshire $700,000 this year to study methane gas emissions from dairy cows.

     

    #3 $615,000 was given to the University of California at Santa Cruz to digitize photos, T-shirts and concert tickets belonging to the Grateful Dead.

     

    #4 A professor at Stanford University received $239,100 to study how Americans use the Internet to find love. So far one of the key findings of this "research" is that the Internet is a safer and more discreet way to find same-sex partners.

     

    #5 The National Science Foundation spent $216,000 to study whether or not politicians "gain or lose support by taking ambiguous positions."

     

    #6 The National Institutes of Health spent approximately $442,340 to study the behavior of male prostitutes in Vietnam.

     

    #7 Approximately $1 million of U.S. taxpayer money was used to create poetry for the Little Rock, New Orleans, Milwaukee and Chicago zoos. The goal of the "poetry" is to help raise awareness on environmental issues.

     

    #8 The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs spent $175 million during 2010 to maintain hundreds of buildings that it does not even use. This includes a pink, octagonal monkey house in the city of Dayton, Ohio.

     

    #9 $1.8 million of U.S. taxpayer dollars went for a "museum of neon signs" in Las Vegas, Nevada.

     

    #10 $35 million was reportedly paid out by Medicare to 118 "phantom" medical clinics that never even existed. Apparently these "phantom" medical clinics were established by a network of criminal gangs as a way to defraud the U.S. government.

     

    #11 The Conservation Commission of Monkton, Vermont got $150,000 from the federal government to construct a "critter crossing". Thanks to U.S. government money, the lives of "thousands" of migrating salamanders are now being saved.

     

    #12 In California, one park received $440,000 in federal funds to perform "green energy upgrades" on a building that has not been used for a decade.

     

    #13 $440,955 was spent this past year on an office for former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert that he rarely even visits.

     

    #14 One Tennessee library was given $5,000 in federal funds to host a series of video game parties.

     

    #15 The U.S. Census Bureau spent $2.5 million on a television commercial during the Super Bowl that was so poorly produced that virtually nobody understood what is was trying to say.

     

    #16 A professor at Dartmouth University received $137,530 to create a "recession-themed" video game entitled "Layoff".

     

    #17 The National Science Foundation gave the Minnesota Zoo over $600,000 so that they could develop an online video game called "Wolfquest".

     

    #18 A pizzeria in Iowa was given $60,000 to renovate the pizzeria's facade and give it a more "inviting feel".

     

    #19 The U.S. Department of Agriculture gave one enterprising group of farmers $30,000 to develop a tourist-friendly database of farms that host guests for overnight "haycations". This one sounds like something that Dwight Schrute would have dreamed up.

     

    #20 Almost unbelievably, the National Institutes of Health was given $800,000 in "stimulus funds" to study the impact of a "genital-washing program" on men in South Africa.

     

    Until this vile waste is eliminated and fundamental reform of systemic government corruption and waste is undertaken, do not dare ask for another dime under the pretense of benefiting the broader economy "

     

    15 Dec 2013, 11:04 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » COINS

     

    Do you have any examples besides the ones you listed ? :)
    16 Dec 2013, 12:07 AM Reply Like
  • Fabsy
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
     
    Coins, I am more than certain that every single one of the examples you have listed has a reasonable explanation. Most if not ALL examples of great modern innovation have come from government backed research and Blue Sky research would die without it. Your Luddite attitude would have meant no atomic energy, no internet, no space travel, no mapping of the genome and so on. Palin messed this one up by being far too shallow in her analysis when she mocked some animal research that was actually key to gene therapy and I suggest you are too. I can see MANY reasons to research methane from cows, both from an energy standpoint and climate change. I know many farmers who run their farms from methane produced by their animals As for the pizzeria, how do you know if the money was not part of a wider grant or development project? Who decides whether a project is valid? You or the elected representatives of the community concerned?

     

    And finally, you state that "the people" dont want govt in healthcare. EVery appropriately phrased poll I have seen not only supports govt healthcare but by a wide margin. Medicare is also extremely popular. Better yet, Obama has been elected, TWICE. Please stop stating falsehoods. As I said, you are entitled to your opinions, but not your own facts.
    16 Dec 2013, 04:17 AM Reply Like
  • CoinsK
    , contributor
    Comments (2477) | Send Message
     
    Fabsy the facts are in the post. Translation:You can't handle them !
    16 Dec 2013, 07:15 AM Reply Like
  • CoinsK
    , contributor
    Comments (2477) | Send Message
     
    http://herit.ag/10AysRq

     

    Federal Spending by the Numbers 2012:
    A reality TV show in India. The Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Program spends $200 million a year to help U.S. agricultural trade associations and cooperatives advertise their products in foreign markets. In 2011, it funded a reality TV show in India that advertised U.S. cotton.
    Studying pig poop. The Environmental Protection Agency awarded a $141,450 grant under the Clean Air Act to fund a Chinese study on swine manure and a $1.2 million grant to the United Nations for clean fuel promotion.
    Amtrak snacks. Federally subsidized Amtrak lost $84.5 million on its food and beverage services in 2011 and $833.8 million over the past 10 years. It has never broken even on these services.
    Using military exercises to boost biofuels. The U.S. Navy bought 450,000 gallons of biofuels for $12 million—or almost $27 per gallon—to conduct exercises to showcase the fuel and bring it closer toward commercialization. It is the largest biofuel purchase ever made by the government.
    Conferences for government employees. In 2008 and 2009 alone, the Department of Justice spent $121 million to host or participate in 1,832 conferences.
    16 Dec 2013, 07:16 AM Reply Like
  • CoinsK
    , contributor
    Comments (2477) | Send Message
     
    @ Fabsy Here's some more . What you don't get fabsy is that America won't work in a Socialist model. It's impossible for us to emulate the European people successfully. That's why you come off as clueless on that particular subject. Please make another word salad for me and explain how you know more Blah blah blah. The fact remains we have issues with spending in this country that you don't in GB or Iceland. . Since you chimed in here's some other example's from 2012 .
    http://herit.ag/10AysRq

     

    Waste Book 2012:
    “RoboSquirrel.” $325,000 was spent on a robotic squirrel named “RoboSquirrel.” This National Science Foundation grant was used to create a realistic-looking robotic squirrel for the purpose of studying how a rattlesnake would react to it.
    Cupcakes. In Washington, D.C., and elsewhere across the country, cupcake shops are trending. The 10 cupcake shop owners who received $2 million in Small Business Administration loan guarantees, however, can only boast so much of their entrepreneurial ingenuity, since taxpayers are backing them up.
    Food stamps for alcohol and junk food. Though they were intended to ensure hungry children received healthy meals, taxpayer-funded food stamps were instead spent on fast food at Taco Bell and Burger King; on non-nutritious foods such as candy, ice cream, and soft drinks; and on some 2,000 deceased persons in New York and Massachusetts. Food stamp recipients spent $2 billion on sugary drinks alone. Improper SNAP payments accounted for $2.5 billion in waste, including to one exotic dancer who was making $85,000 per year.
    Beer brewing in New Hampshire. Despite Smuttynose brewery’s financial success and popularity, it is still getting a $750,970 Community Development Block Grant to build a new brewery and restaurant facilities.
    A covered bridge to nowhere. What list of government waste would be complete without a notorious “bridge to nowhere”? In this case, it’s $520,000 to fix the Stevenson Road Covered Bridge in Green County, Ohio, which was last used in 2003.
    .........................
    Here in the U.S. we have government so corrupt that it is inevitable that we will fail to right the ship.If people like Fabsy believe that Obama and Government operated and rationed healthcare is the answer,then it becomes apparent he doesn't understand the question.
    16 Dec 2013, 07:21 AM Reply Like
  • CoinsK
    , contributor
    Comments (2477) | Send Message
     
    IT posted this on the other thread. http://huff.to/1jau87U

     

    I just read that before reading that you asked here? Btw ,you stated that Obamacare was something wanted by most Americans. Are you drinking when you say these things with NO facts to back them up?
    16 Dec 2013, 07:32 AM Reply Like
  • CoinsK
    , contributor
    Comments (2477) | Send Message
     
    No atomic energy. My family works in Oak Ridge ,Tn. Get a clue before grasping at things to say just because you think it will be derogatory. Wow ,just when I thought you were just drinking and posting again,it gets worse .LOL
    16 Dec 2013, 07:34 AM Reply Like
  • CoinsK
    , contributor
    Comments (2477) | Send Message
     
    AT Fabsy .who stated that "Most people want Obamacare type government insurance. IT posted this on the other thread. http://huff.to/1jau87U

     

    I just read that post by IT before reading what you asked here? Btw ,you stated that Obamacare was something wanted by most Americans. Are you drinking when you say these things with NO facts to back them up?
    16 Dec 2013, 07:36 AM Reply Like
  • Ordinary Average Guy
    , contributor
    Comments (654) | Send Message
     
    CoinsK,
    Looking through your list of 20; I must say that I support each and every one of these, in terms of their rights to spend the money that you have listed for each, including the 5k for the video game parties for the Library in TN!

     

    Where I differ from what the current practice is in terms of how the money is appropriated for all 20 of these items from your list. Apparently government grants are applied for and issued to fund each of these items. That process should be significantly overhauled. It seems that there is a split among the population as to those that support any/all items listed, and a significant number of people on each side of the argument that both support or oppose spending money for these items. I think that it is important and constitutional that the rights of both sides are respected and that neither side is "forced" to support or deny support for any of these items.

     

    A fair solution would be to allow each of these 20-items to form a 501(c) organization that supports their respective cause. (I would suspect that many have done that already) The next step would be for each of these 501(c) organizations to form a listing of monetary requirements that they need to fund their various projects. Each 501(c) in this group could at their discretion provide as much or as little detail as they determine to this list of requested appropriations.

     

    Once this has been achieved, larger groups like the DNC, or ACORN, etc. could solicit their members for tax deductible financial contributions to each of these groups. These donations could be routed directly to each/any cause that previously went through the failed government grant process. The private sector will determine which of these items they support through direct contributions.

     

    Problem solved.
    16 Dec 2013, 11:03 AM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » OAG

     

    Don't hold your breath hoping for that sudden change..
    16 Dec 2013, 11:22 AM Reply Like
  • Fabsy
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
     
    What facts? EVery single "fact" is turned by you into ridicule based on insinuation. Tell me, what would you have made into research into the internet? Or early stage Genome research ( a branch of which, like you, was mocked by Palin until she was told what diseases were cured).

     

    I can imagine perfectly reasonable motives for every single example you have quoted without elaborating. So desperate are you to mock your own government, to establish that government can do nothing right, that you simply copy and paste examples of which you clearly no ZERO details. Its actually a poor reflection on you Coins.
    16 Dec 2013, 11:52 AM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3427) | Send Message
     
    Yes. The South African male genital washing study was surely good use of taxpayer money...
    16 Dec 2013, 11:55 AM Reply Like
  • Fabsy
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
     
    Coinsk. It is well past the point where I need worry about appearing rude when this must be the 5th or 6th time I politely ask you to stop misquoting me. I did NOT say that most Americans want Obamacare (although that may be true) what I DID say is that in EVERY poll I have seen where the public is asked if they want some form of national healthcare system like Medicare the VAST MAJORITY always seem to say YES.

     

    Kindly retract your statement. You are starting to look extremely rude and ignorant without possibly realising it.
    16 Dec 2013, 11:57 AM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » FAB

     

    Could you please provide some links supporting your position that the vast majority of Americans want nation healthcare?

     

    I have never seen any.

     

    Thanks!
    16 Dec 2013, 12:04 PM Reply Like
  • dnorm1234
    , contributor
    Comments (702) | Send Message
     
    >The South African male genital washing study was surely good use of taxpayer money...

     

    It may or may not have been. So what?

     

    In a process that divvies out billions of dollars, money gets wasted. Shocking, no? It's the market at work. Perhaps we should appoint you to vet all the scientific research that's done in America. That'd surely be more efficient.
    16 Dec 2013, 01:10 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3427) | Send Message
     
    Well, they need to appoint SOMEONE with some common sense. I may not be as efficient, but we'd save a lot of money...
    16 Dec 2013, 01:18 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » @DNORM

     

    I guess me asking you to be polite with your comments isn't working. JBT has been here from the beginning, never insults anyone. Can you please explain to me why you must make comments like below?

     

    . "Perhaps we should appoint you to vet all the scientific research that's done in America. That'd surely be more efficient"

     

    I spend plenty of my free time to keep people posting here. These types of comments won't be accepted. Your choice sir.

     

    What you posted in the beginning was fine. Just loose the sarcasm . I am not asking too much. I really don't want this to turn into a Yahoo arena.

     

    I hope you understand my point. Still waiting to see if you want to join our portfolio challenge??
    16 Dec 2013, 02:22 PM Reply Like
  • Fabsy
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
     
    Dnorm: I know it may sound convoluted but actually I would guess the genital washing study had something to do with disease prevention measures which may improve health and treatment efficacy. It may also relate to ongoing research into whether circumcision is a wasteful and unnecessary procedure (it is justified on some spurious grounds that involve genital hygiene).

     

    In any case, without more details its a bit like judging a court case based on a headline. I practice only really taken seriously by fools.
    16 Dec 2013, 03:40 PM Reply Like
  • Fabsy
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
     
    FROM WIKI:Public opinion polls have shown a majority of the public supports various levels of government involvement in health care in the United States,[31] with stated preferences depending on how the question is asked.[32] Polls from Harvard University in 1988,[33] the Los Angeles Times in 1990,[34] and the Wall Street Journal in 1991[35] all showed strong support for a health care system compared to the system in Canada. More recently, however, polling support has declined for that sort of health care system,[31][32] with a 2007 Yahoo/AP poll showing a majority of respondents considered themselves supporters of "single-payer health care,"[36] a majority in favor of a number of reforms according to a joint poll with the Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg,[37] and a plurality of respondents in a 2009 poll for Time Magazine showed support for "a national single-payer plan similar to Medicare for all."[38] Polls by Rasmussen Reports in 2011[39] and 2012[40] showed pluralities opposed to single payer health care. Many other polls show support for various levels of government involvement in health care, including polls from New York Times/CBS News[41][42] and Washington Post/ABC News,[43] showing favorability for a form of national health insurance. The Kaiser Family Foundation[44] showed a majority in favor of a form of national health insurance, often compared to Medicare, and a Quinnipiac poll in three states in 2008 found majority support for the government ensuring "that everyone in the United States has adequate health-care" among likely Democratic primary voters.[45]

     

    Note I did say it depends on how it is phrased since Americans are wary of anything sounding like "socialist" but the key is that when "like Medicare" is used results seem to invariably show majority support.

     

    So, the shoe is now on the other foot. Can I get a retraction from Coinsk that Americans DO NOT want government involvement in healthcare?
    16 Dec 2013, 03:44 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3427) | Send Message
     
    Now, in your opinion, how would a poll go if you phrased the question thusly:

     

    "Would you be in favor of a national single-payer system for the United States if it cost you more money per year than you are paying now?"

     

    Now spin it a little:

     

    "Would you be in favor of a national single-payer system for the United States if it was free?"

     

    The yes/no loaded questions that polls ask are usually useless. You can make someone for/against just about anything 'depending on how it's phrased'.

     

    The ACA and its "buy-it-or-else" tax penalty is bad government policy.

     

    That's my response to a poll that is phased like this:

     

    "What do you think of the ACA, and its "buy-it-or-else" tax penalty?"
    16 Dec 2013, 04:25 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » @FAB

     

    The polls you supplied are outdated as well. 1988, 1990, 1991 are a long time ago to judge how Americans think today. We are a lot smarter now !
    16 Dec 2013, 05:11 PM Reply Like
  • Fabsy
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
     
    JBTN. Wow. I really regret NOT SAYING IT ALL DEPENDS HOW IT IS PHRASED now. Wish I had, then I wouldnt get so many people repeating the very same thing back to me.

     

    Still, my point was clear enough 1) no one can say the US public is against any government role in Healthcare and 2) Americans seem to actually LIKE Medicare.

     

    I still await a retraction from Coins. I dont expect one but still, one can always live in hope of decency and honour.
    16 Dec 2013, 05:26 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3427) | Send Message
     
    Hey Fabs - why don't you lighten up your attitude a little. I get you disagree with me. That's cool. You don't have to come off like an ass to put an exclamation point on it.

     

    Thanks.
    16 Dec 2013, 05:37 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » JBT

     

    Honestly, I think if you don't live in this country your whole life you can never understand our point of view. Not saying FABS is brainwashed. But if you only live a certain lifestyle you really can't justify what we Americans think or lived through..

     

    Comparing Teachers salaries to Doctors lost me on this argument going further. We need to get back to investments. I will gladly start another blog for these types of discussions if a few of you ask me to do it.

     

    Quite frankly the *conspiracy* chapter seems to fit just fine.
    16 Dec 2013, 05:45 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3427) | Send Message
     
    I don't care if he's talking about pink polka-dot panties on a buffalo as long as he drops the snark. I gave him none, and did not deserve any in return.
    16 Dec 2013, 06:17 PM Reply Like
  • Fabsy
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
     
    JBTN: Apologies if I came across as an ass. I am just getting a little frustrated with some poeple deliberately misinterpreting what I write or downright falsifying my argument. Collateral damage? Sorry again.
    17 Dec 2013, 11:41 AM Reply Like
  • Fabsy
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
     
    IT: I think you also misunderstand me. I never for one second suggested teachers and doctors should have similar pay. No. What I was trying to say is that you CANNOT COMPARE a whole class of workers (say, "all doctors") to a SUBCLASS of another (Like Chief Execs in another industry). If you want to compare doctors to teachers it should be all doctors vs all teachers or ranked by experience etc. THAT WAS MY POINT.

     

    I actually struggle to see why this is so hard to understand. I was responding to a post which had the huge flaw of comparing all doctor pay to only CEOs and high ranking execs in other industries INCLUDING TEACHING.

     

    Is the point clear enough now?
    17 Dec 2013, 11:44 AM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3427) | Send Message
     
    And here I thought the budget pre-agreement would cause an uptick in the markets... Silly me.

     

    On another note - which do y'all like better, (AZO) or (AAP)? I'm job shopping, and both offer discounted stock purchase plans. (AAP) has a small dividend (0.20%), and a 5% discount on shares. (AZO) has no dividend, but is discounted 15%.

     

    Into the future, which stock do you think has the most up-side potential?
    11 Dec 2013, 12:57 PM Reply Like
  • BlueSkyForever
    , contributor
    Comments (1283) | Send Message
     
    Just looked at projected earnings JBTN on CNBC.com. It looks like (AZO) is the better stock. But I would go by what it's like to work there, and how good are the health care benefits?

     

    Good luck to you ; )
    11 Dec 2013, 02:11 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3427) | Send Message
     
    BSF,

     

    Was leaning towards (AZO) myself. Insurance is not currently a concern, since the wife has it at least one more year. I imagine either place would be the same work environment (I used to work for (AAP) way back when Sears sold off their Western Auto stores to them).

     

    Plan is to allocate about 50% of w/e they pay me to the stock plan, 10% to the 401k, and the rest will pay for gas to get to and fro. :)

     

    Thanks for the input!
    11 Dec 2013, 03:10 PM Reply Like
  • Fear & Greed Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (4091) | Send Message
     
    JBT,
    FWIW,

     

    IMO, both have a way to go before I would call them overvalued,, plenty of runway left for them..

     

    (AAP) is on my radar on any pullback , its one of my fav's for '14 with a target of 130 .. They just bought general parts international and that will add to the bottom line in '14 , the deal is expected to close early '14 .

     

    Nothing wrong with (AZO) , good company , but I m just leaning to (AAP)....
    11 Dec 2013, 04:15 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » FEAR

     

    I know you feel that tapering should have little effect on the markets. Now do you see it happening in 2013 ?

     

    Personally I also think plenty of people are taking profits this month in anticipation of uncertainty next year as well..

     

    Markets seem to be throwing off some confusing signals right now..

     

    Thoughts from all?
    12 Dec 2013, 12:59 AM Reply Like
  • BlueSkyForever
    , contributor
    Comments (1283) | Send Message
     
    good time to buy the dip, dollar cost average in by purchasing small amounts of your stocks, adding to your core positions

     

    lots of tax selling too going on right now as well.

     

    as a long term investor (not a trader, not a short-timer!) I am loving the opportunities we are getting now

     

    buy small positions, over time, and hold the great companies.

     

    a few speculative stocks (like GALE) or growth stocks (TSCO, SBUX)
    can add some zest to your portfolio
    12 Dec 2013, 09:34 AM Reply Like
  • Land of Milk and Honey
    , contributor
    Comments (3129) | Send Message
     
    I've got (AAP) on my streaming screen. It's been green on some red days, and generally seems to have positive momentum. I haven't looked if it's gotten overpriced or high at the moment.

     

    When it comes to repairing my car, both are strong for buying parts / supplies.

     

    Pepboys just did poorly (I think with low future guidance - check me on that though)... so the whole sector may come down a little, even though (AAP) had good earnings last time.
    11 Dec 2013, 01:58 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » FOR THOSE RETAIL SHOPPING PEOPLE !!!

     

    "Retail shopping traffic poor last week: ShopperTrak

     

    Brick-and-mortar retail sales fell 2.9% Y/Y for the week following Black Friday, according to ShopperTrak.

     

    The mark is less than impressive with the compact holiday shopping season supposed to make the comparable to last year a bit easier. Even worse, the consumer research firm reports a 21.6% drop in retail shopper traffic for the week of December 2 to December 8.

     

    Though post-Cyber Monday letdown, wintry weather, and an early Hanukkah played a factor in the poor retail sales week - forward momentum appears lacking with only two weeks left before Christmas."

     

    I thought I read that some posted retail sales were brisk ???
    12 Dec 2013, 12:41 AM Reply Like
  • Fear & Greed Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (4091) | Send Message
     
    Retail sales come in higher than expected

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    Perhaps the death of the consumer is greatly exaggerated

     

    Household balance sheets are vastly improved as net worth hit an all time high ..
    http://bit.ly/1bYOHA8

     

    Most of this type of data is met with two choices , those "watching" the data will believe the chart and the doomsday & conspiracy mob will toss it in the garbage like all of the other info they have dismissed..
    We have seen this movie before-- and the results of taking each road ....... 
    12 Dec 2013, 08:52 AM Reply Like
  • CoinsK
    , contributor
    Comments (2477) | Send Message
     
    Or most "seasoned" investors will realize that retail numbers are always highest from the Christmas season ,and know that the profits are already baked into the price. All puns were intended :)
    15 Dec 2013, 11:11 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » FEAR

     

    I agree with you that sales are higher. I think we have so much on line buying now that stores will be forced to drastically reduce their prices soon.
    12 Dec 2013, 12:35 PM Reply Like
  • Fabsy
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
     
    Reposted and in response to demands for investment ideas:

     

    Does anyone here want to know anything about a nice currency arbitrage that allows you to earn 8 to 9% yields on government bonds without leverage and a "stable" currency? Nope, its not a scam (the programme is actually run by the Central Bank) but it does involve Iceland, currency controls (hence the "stability" and central bank auctions. Oh, and your money gets tied up in Iceland for 5 years although you can take out your interest payments. Still, lots of people are taking it up (I certainly did but then I live in Reykjavik).
    This is what happens when you have two currency rates (offshore and "official") and a Central Bank that wants to encourage foreign investment.

     

    Happy to discuss but only if there is interest. I am not a promoter and don't want to sell anything at all and don't make anything from this whatsoever.
    12 Dec 2013, 04:35 PM Reply Like
  • Land of Milk and Honey
    , contributor
    Comments (3129) | Send Message
     
    @ Fabsy

     

    I'm all ears. More like, I'm curious. But too good to be true makes me cautious.. but do tell us the details!

     

    Is there risk of Iceland's gov't going insolvant? Or exchange rate potential loss?
    13 Dec 2013, 12:09 AM Reply Like
  • Fabsy
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
     
    Well, yes and no. As long as capital controls remain in place in Iceland the currency will remain very stable as they are really only moved by "real flows". I don't hear ANYONE (including people at the central bank speaking unofficially) talking about capital controls being lifted anytime soon, even for many years.

     

    There are a lot of hedge funds and vulture funds trapped in Iceland from before the crash (although to be fair these funds bought credits at massive discounts from the original owners at cents on the dollar so they are way way ahead mark to market). The central bank has set up an auction process whereby they let these onshore holders out and offshore investors in at a negotiated FX rate. In the last auction (Dec 3rd) the rate was 216 ISK per Euro against an official rate of 167. You therefore received about 30% more ISK than the official rate which is what all Icelanders have to use when buying foreign currency in what little amounts they are allowed to or for trade. In exchange for this premium you are obliged to invest in Icelandic treasuries which yield around 6.5 to 7% if I recall correctly and hold them for at least 5 years. Your effective yield is of course 30% higher since you got extra ISK so we get sround 8.5 to 9%. You are allowed to repatriate your interest payments.

     

    So. Is there risk? Yes. Of course default is not really one considering the Icelandic Government can hardly default in its own currency but then it becomes a matter of inflation which in turn affects FX rates. But the FX rate is primarily determined now by trade flows, not speculative flows. The worst risk in my opinion is that the CB decides to float the currency sooner rather than later and does so in a disastrous way that sees the Krona tumble rapidly before it settles at a "normal market" determined rate. But then again, you have 30% downside before you are losing on the currency side and receiving an 8.5-9% yield on treasuries in the meantime which is a HELLUVA lot more than you get anywhere else I can think of.

     

    Note: There is another option in the auctions instead of treasuries called the "investment programme" where you get around half the discount but are free to invest in real estate and other instruments, again with the 5 year lock up. That's what I did (paid off an inflation indexed mortgage in fact). Each to his own.

     

    Link to the CB website on the last auction:
    http://bit.ly/Jm9lyk
    The next one is scheduled for the 4th February 2014.

     

    Caveat emptor!
    13 Dec 2013, 07:13 AM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (12442) | Send Message
     
    Fabs:

     

    Of course, Iceland already just recently reneged on the repayment of euro loans that were made on precisely the same premise, leading up to the subprime and realty debacle. It worked out really well for Iceland, but not so swell for European investors.

     

    Caveat emptor, indeed.
    13 Dec 2013, 04:04 PM Reply Like
  • Fabsy
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
     
    Tack: Which loans are you talking about, when and who was the issuer? And again I stress that the bonds discussed are ISK govt bonds. How does the govt default on those exactly? And what premise is #precisely# the same?

     

    But if you are trying to say there is no free lunch in a 9% yield on govt bonds with a stable currency I would say "duh!" But I still am not sure you are making the right comparison. Please specify.
    15 Dec 2013, 10:47 AM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (12442) | Send Message
     
    Fabs:

     

    I am saying that the Icelandic government defaulted on euro loans that they solicited and promoted on exactly a similar "can't-miss" basis during the real-estate run-up. When the local currency collapsed, they were unable and unwilling to repay those foreign-currency loans. You can Google myriad articles on this subject.

     

    The caveat emptor applies because of this history and the added risks in any such investment situation that involves foreign borrowings.
    15 Dec 2013, 12:38 PM Reply Like
  • Fabsy
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
     
    Tack, I think I will need the links to that. I suspect you are confusing government debt with Bank debt. Happy to be proven wrong but I doubt it as I know the Icelandic government did not default in the crisis. And again, we are talking about local currency Icelandic Government bonds here, not foreign currency bank debt.

     

    Still, if you can find an issuer with better credit than the Icelandic govt paying 9% with a currency stable under capital controls, good for you. For me the real catch is being locked in for 5 years (although you get your coupons out). Otherwise the risks are relatively priced in I believe.
    15 Dec 2013, 02:36 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Looking forward to the end of this movie between you two.. It does sound too good to be true. But you guys are the experts. I am just trying to expose good investment opportunities and appreciate FAB mentioning this one!
    15 Dec 2013, 02:39 PM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (12442) | Send Message
     
    F:

     

    http://bit.ly/1b8j80Z
    15 Dec 2013, 02:42 PM Reply Like
  • CoinsK
    , contributor
    Comments (2477) | Send Message
     
    The biggest problem is that any "investment" that it's main requirement is that you have no control of your money for 5 years falls into the " don't do it category" ala Will Rogers.
    "I'm not concerned so much with the return on my investment ,but rather with the return OF my investment "
    15 Dec 2013, 11:15 PM Reply Like
  • Fabsy
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
     
    I thought so. Easy mistake to make. Sorry Tack but the debts referred to here are in fact obligations of the PRIVATE banks in Iceland. It would be like saying the US govt defaulted because it didnt make Lehman bondholders whole with taxpayer money. It gets worse: in fact the Icesave depositors are fully covered by the assets of the bank concerned. What the UK wanted was the Icelandic state to cover all deposits in full (way above the EFTA agreed deposit insurance limit) AND pay a whacking great interest spread too. EFTA ruled in Iceland's favour in the courts.

     

    So no, the Icelandic state did not default on any of its obligations, some private banks did and even then investors have/will make full recovery and I am a tad surprised you didnt see that one. I thought you would be a bit more sophisticated than the average Joe but then this is tiny Iceland and the media did distort everything.....
    16 Dec 2013, 04:27 AM Reply Like
  • Fabsy
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
     
    Coinsk: That is why Private Equity is not for you. The typical PE fund has a ten year commitment. Many of the best hedge funds have multi year lockups.

     

    Ever hear of a liquidity premium? You can stick to highly liquid investments as is your will (and dependent on your risk profile) but please dont spout anything as silly as to suggest that an illiquid investment has by default zero merit. Having said that, it pleases me that there are so many people like you that think that, it makes the liquidity premium better for chaps like me.

     

    Like I have said before, I am not selling anything, the idea I put forward is transparent and the risks easy to assess. The issue is whether the FX pick up and yield enhancement is worth the 5 year lock up and risk of a currency move within 5 years (ie capital controls abandoned at a terrible rate etc). I say its about right, not a no brainer but very little is. 9% in govt bonds with a capital control system in place likely for many years is not to be sniffed at off hand.
    16 Dec 2013, 04:34 AM Reply Like
  • Fabsy
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
     
    Fitch latest credit rating an outlook on Iceland:http://bit.ly/JqGwAr

     

    Again, the issue is whether a 30% fx pickup justifies the currency risk. The yield is already a premium to BBB corporates. Personally I expect capital controls to stay in place a LOOOOOONG time but even if they dont a disorderly unwinding is not at all likely.

     

    Worth a small punt for an internationalist with a long view. Not domestic widows and orphans.
    16 Dec 2013, 05:07 AM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » anyone want to explain these points ?? I really don't understand the spreads..

     

    "Treasury sells 30-year bonds at 3.90%

     

    The Treasury sells $13B in 30-year bonds at 3.90%.

     

    Bid-to-cover ratio of 2.35, vs. a previous of 2.16.

     

    Indirect bidders take 46.0%, vs. a previous 35.3%.

     

    Direct bidders take 12.5%, vs. a previous 18.3%."

     

    What is bid to cover, indirect bidders, direct bidders, and what is important about the %? Is this good or bad news? Or of no importance ?

     

    Thanks!!
    12 Dec 2013, 07:55 PM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10221) | Send Message
     
    Fabsy says:
    "WMARKW: says the absolutely HUGE increase in healthcare costs in the US that are DOUBLE the GDP percentage of most developed nations which have superior outcomes and provision. Look outside the US box and you see that doctors (as part of the healthcare sector in general) are vastly overpaid relative to results on a national scale. If you think pay should correlate to performance (or be the product of a generally functional market system) then the US healthcare sector as a whole is massively overcompensated and the "market" is totally skewed. If you can come up with a better metric to support the idea that the US consumer gets "good value" from the healthcare sector bring it on. The objective data is pretty clear on the subject and it certainly supports my proposition. Now kindly show why you think doctors as a whole in the US are not overpaid and by what measure. Or do you not have any objective basis for your opinion?"
    13 Dec 2013, 01:50 PM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10221) | Send Message
     
    Fabsy: You have a very interesting approach to dialogue. LOL.

     

    You have an opinion that you stated about doctors being overpaid. You are welcome to it....just understand, as we all do, that it is YOUR opinion.

     

    You provide no indication of what average doctors make compared to anyone else.

     

    You provide no assessment of cost of education vs. income over lifetime, etc, etc.

     

    You simply indicate that because cost of healthcare is high, it must be at least partially because doctors wages are high.

     

    Then you bring up results....which I suspect you are considering, for example cost vs. GDP, etc. and not actual medical outcomes, which provides no support for your thesis whatsoever, UNLESS of course, you wish to modify your original comment to suggest that doctors are overpaid because they produce such results.

     

    I don't have to come up with a metric, it's you who made the claim that doctors are overpaid. You provide the metric - which of course you haven't provided so far, just your opinion.

     

    What objective data?

     

    Again, I have not stated an opinion.....you have.
    13 Dec 2013, 01:56 PM Reply Like
  • Fabsy
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
     
    WMARKW: OK. I will dig up some data to support what you should already know (which is that US doctors, on average, are paid vastly more than their counterparts in the developed world) IF you agree to show me ANY data that shows that the US healthcare system produces better results and coverage per unit of cost than any developed nation system. You will probably find that the US only outperforms the ROW in one very specific area on outcomes: certain types of oncology. NOTHING ELSE. And the ONLY reason for that is because almost all other nations dismiss the outrageously expensive and effectively useless treatments for cancer that are routinely jammed onto patients in the US that extend lives by mere weeks but bankrupt entire families in the process. So even there, the one area where the US delivers better outcomes, the cost efficiency is actually ATROCIOUS.

     

    So yeah, Doctors in the US are overpaid by any constructive measure. But if you want to say they should be paid more because the education system in the US is ALSO ridiculously expensive and they need to recoup their investment then I say WTF? What sort of argument is that? "It cost me two million to design and build my own car, it's shitty and doesnt do 50 mph but you better pay me 3 million for it cos you owe me a fat margin"???? I thought I was the Marxist here. And this isnt even BEGINNING to talk about the licensing system in the US which specifically limits the supply of doctors (a guild if you will) which INEVITABLY leads to skewed payments. It ain't a market matey, not by a long shot.

     

    Anyway, the WHO has the data you might be looking for.

     

    You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. Kindly point out to me where my opinion has strayed into stating falsehoods.
    15 Dec 2013, 10:55 AM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » GUYS...CAN I ASK A FAVOR..

     

    I am sometimes also guilty of this. I appreciate when backing up your opinion with facts try to keep the insults down. I am not going to point to any specific comment.

     

    I will say I removed DNORMS comments because all he added was an insult to one's post with no support. The banter here is riveting and full of information.

     

    I always have to even remind myself to just try and be polite as I make my point.

     

    Now all can wish me a HAPPY BIRTHDAY TODAY !!! LOL
    15 Dec 2013, 02:26 PM Reply Like
  • Fear & Greed Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (4091) | Send Message
     
    IT,

     

    Happy birthday ,,, Many more
    15 Dec 2013, 02:30 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Let me add DNORM is welcomed here still. I just ask everyone to either ask a question or respond with an answer. Making snide comments and

     

    Please don't feel I am picking on you DNORM..I have removed my comments as well...I live by the same rules.
    15 Dec 2013, 02:31 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3427) | Send Message
     
    Happy birthday, IT. :)
    15 Dec 2013, 05:14 PM Reply Like
  • CoinsK
    , contributor
    Comments (2477) | Send Message
     
    Happy Birthday Bill ! And BTW,did you know that the day after tomorrow will be the 3rd day of the rest of your life?
    15 Dec 2013, 11:21 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » THANKS for the bday wishes guys. COINS, I look at it as 3 more days closer to another entitlement that I paid for. Social Security.

     

    Will it still be there ?
    16 Dec 2013, 12:10 AM Reply Like
  • Fabsy
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
     
    I second the Bday wishes. 21 AGAIN is it? ;-)
    16 Dec 2013, 04:35 AM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Thank you sir....Yeah 21 times xx... lol
    16 Dec 2013, 11:09 AM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10221) | Send Message
     
    Waiting for the data.....in the meantime....I compare to earnings of others in the USA, not the ROW.

     

    “Using a third-party online collection website, Medscape surveyed 24,216 physicians across 25 specialties from Feb. 1 to 17, 2012. Doctors’ earnings ranged from about $156,000 a year for pediatricians to about $315,000 for radiologists and orthopedic surgeons. The highest earners — orthopedic surgeons and radiologists — were the same as last year, followed by cardiologists who earned $314,000 and anesthesiologists who made $309,000.

     

    The lowest earning doctors are the family guys. Pediatricians and family practitioners make about $156,000 and $158,000, respectively. Internists and psychiatrists rank a notch above, at about $165,000 and $170,000, respectively.”
    http://ti.me/J04r9l

     

    LOL – wow these guys are pulling in the dough. They don’t even compare to execs at public companies, or senior managers at most large companies, or senior managers at institutions of higher learning. So much for your thesis about the greedy doctors.

     

    Now let’s look at results for outcomes…something most people neglect to consider when they rail about the expense of healthcare in America.
    Ok – so let’s look at some stats vs. OECD countries.

     

    Athsma - US – second highest incidence (is that healthcare?)

     

    COPD – less incidence than most all Western Eurpoean countries

     

    Diabetes – rates lowest 1/3, and 1/3 incidence rate of ….Sweden

     

    In hospital mortality rate myocardial infarction – lowest 1/3, and
    less than Germany, Austria, Switzerland

     

    In hospital mortality rate ischemic stroke – US #4 lowest incidence after Japan, Korea and Denmark

     

    Post Op Complications – US sucks

     

    Cervical Cancer 5 year survival rates – worst 3rd quartile – better than Denmark and Austria

     

    Breast Cancer 5 year survival rates – 4th best in world – after Japan, Iceland and Korea
    16 Dec 2013, 12:22 PM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10221) | Send Message
     
    Health Care QUALITY Indicators
    http://bit.ly/19SunJT
    16 Dec 2013, 12:36 PM Reply Like
  • Fabsy
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
     
    WMARKW:

     

    DO I really have to point out the futility of comparing AVERAGE pay irrespective of rank, seniority or experience against only TOP EXECUTIVES in other businesses? Which industries do you know of that have AVERAGE salaries for ALL PROFESSIONALS in the range of 250k pus or minus 100k? Perhaps only front office investment banking. You should compare doctor pay to teacher pay, not average doctor pay to senior management in academic institutions or CEOs. But you know that right?

     

    And as for your outcome stats, I would hesitate to compare outcomes the way you do. More people probably die in Hospitals in Europe because we take anyone, you guys dont. So if you want real states, go to the WHO and stop cherry picking. Its bad, you should know it is and stop trying to make the facts fit your case. Try the other way, find the faacts and let them shape your opinion. If you end up concluding the US gets value for money and better outcomes and coverage than the developed world systems you are deluded. There is no other conclusion to be drawn from the facts.
    16 Dec 2013, 03:53 PM Reply Like
  • Fabsy
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
     
    Your link does not work....
    16 Dec 2013, 03:55 PM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10221) | Send Message
     
    I stopped reading at "you should compare Dr. pay to Teacher pay"? You can't be serious. LOL.

     

    What's with the "you guys". Where are you from anyway. Not US. No wonder.
    16 Dec 2013, 04:09 PM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10221) | Send Message
     
    Sure it does. Works for me.....just go looking around and find some stuff. Inform yourself.
    16 Dec 2013, 04:10 PM Reply Like
  • User 7415181
    , contributor
    Comments (519) | Send Message
     
    @ Fabsy,

     

    "More people probably die in Hospitals in Europe because we take anyone, you guys dont."

     

    This is incorrect. An ER in the US cannot turn you away for inability to pay. If you want to guarantee that you end up in the hospital, show up with some alcohol in your bloodstream and tell them you're suicidal. After you tell them the real reason you're there for. Works like a champ.

     

    "More people probably die in Hospitals in Europe..."

     

    Perhaps because your healthcare professionals aren't paid as well compared to the US or don't have similar penalties for a f-up (I mean poor outcome) that might motivate them to do a better job? Just asking as "You should compare doctor pay to teacher pay". I don't know about Europe, but is the US many of the dumb kids you will find on a college campus are going for an education degree. Not saying they're as dumb as the ones going for mass-media communications, but they're close.
    16 Dec 2013, 05:27 PM Reply Like
  • Fabsy
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
     
    WMARKW: I will ignore the implicit xenophobia and the rather clumsy sidestep of the meat of my comment and clarify for your benefit: You CANNOT COMPARE A WHOLE INDUSTRY CATEGORY OF PAY WITH JUST THE TOP EXECS OF ANOTHER CATEGORY. You compared doctor py to Top Execs. The comparison is better made to other "metiers" hence my comment on teachers. It is not to say doctors should be paid the same (how did you draw that inference? Made it up?) but rather to point out how flawed your comparative method is.

     

    Clearly the best method is to compare doctor pay in the US with similar posts in other developed countries. Have you found one yet that pays the same or more than the US? No. Didnt think so.

     

    So now kindly keep your opinions fact based and stop making up strawmen from stuff I do NOT write. My posts are there for all to read and I believe on further analysis you might find that you are the one who stands corrected, not me.
    16 Dec 2013, 05:31 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » USER

     

    Hey, hey.....My daughter has an Education degree...

     

    But the real question is can she operate on someone in Europe? I mean she did sleep at a Holiday Inn !!

     

    Strong points you just made!!!
    16 Dec 2013, 05:32 PM Reply Like
  • User 7415181
    , contributor
    Comments (519) | Send Message
     
    My bad, IT. I knew as soon as I hit the publish button that someone was going to say something. The good news is that if she's in a "right to work" state then she will be part of a teacher's association that will protect her. The other type of state that's name is failing me, well I'm sure she's part of a union that will better protect her. And the most important part is that she doesn't have a mass-com degree.

     

    Now my good news is that I have an interview for a hospice job on Friday. Wasteful. I mean, why provide care for the dying, especially if they have cancer? Pretty inefficient.
    16 Dec 2013, 05:44 PM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10221) | Send Message
     
    Once again.....a cornered rabbit, you fail to remember that it was YOU who suggested US doctors were overpaid. Again....up until now without any valid data, except for your opinion. I do not have to make your argument for you, YOU do.

     

    That being said, yes, you appear to have indicated you are not US citizen. How about you tell us all where you are from, so we can get an idea of your bias. Since you use "métiers" - we can all suspect your background is French.

     

    Yes your posts are for all to read, and I suspect all recognize your bias and your failure to easily support your position you established early on. Have you found any data yet?

     

    Ha, this is fun. Clearly, you have lots opinions.
    16 Dec 2013, 06:25 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » USER.. Good news is she is part of a union. Bad news is she can only find a full time sub position for the last 2 years!

     

    Unfortunately the subs, although full time, are ineligible for benefits and she turns 26 this year. In NY you need a Maters Degree within 5 years of graduation and at least she completed that already..

     

    Good luck on the interview!
    16 Dec 2013, 06:38 PM Reply Like
  • User 7415181
    , contributor
    Comments (519) | Send Message
     
    IT,

     

    Bleah. Unions aren't what they used to be. Hope she does well anyway. I remember you talking about yourself or her and her so moving down south. She will find a full-time job if she's willing to move out in the sticks. May or may not be a good deal if she can find some interesting geography fairly close to where she relocates...
    16 Dec 2013, 06:47 PM Reply Like
  • User 7415181
    , contributor
    Comments (519) | Send Message
     
    Actually, I'm gonna add that I've always liked SC. Wonderful coast for the most part. The hill area closer to GA and NC is beautiful as well. People are kind of slow, but that goes for the SE in general. Note that this does not mean mentally slow, just slow in action and talk.

     

    As outsiders, you will not assimilate well unless you find a church to attend pronto. That's just the way it is with the rural south. Probably goes for rural anywhere.
    16 Dec 2013, 06:54 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3427) | Send Message
     
    Hehe. Lots to choose from down here. I think there's at least one church for every 5 or 6 people.

     

    We're considered the "Yankee heathens" by a neighbor or two. :)
    16 Dec 2013, 07:01 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » GUYS

     

    It is ACTUALLY ME who would like to relocate. I have a bad back that was fused, and have bars all though the lower back. The cold is a killer.

     

    Right now we live 60 miles outside of NYC, considered the sticks, yet with all my contacts from sport officiating in schools it is really rough for her to find a job.

     

    Her union has a clause that if a teacher is laid off for anything except performance they MUST be offered any teaching opening FIRST for the next 7 years. Not bad huh?

     

    Her dilemma is her boyfriend has a successful construction/handyman business up here that has been in his family for years. So if she wanted to relocate south he will now have to start over and he isn't that wild about it.

     

    I don't blame him. She has stated that she will give it one more year, has her Masters now behind her, and just find something different to do.

     

    Me ? Once my mom passes, and my wives parents do as well, I am heading to warmer weather. I don't take any heavy meds as I once did. Oxy and Fentynol patches make you a different person. Now add to that muscle relaxants and I just felt like a zombie.

     

    It was a 9 hr failed surgery. But once I catch a chill my day is over. Muscle spasm are a killer, yet all the specialist I see cannot put their finger on the problem. They just want to prescribe more meds. I refuse them as I still try to earn a living.

     

    But I have to be honest, it is tough working with my condition...
    16 Dec 2013, 07:31 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3427) | Send Message
     
    Hehe. Stop refusing the meds and... make a living. ;) You get top dollar for the 'real' stuff.

     

    I kid. I would never sell prescription meds... :)

     

    You have to go pretty darn far south to avoid getting the chills. Or maybe something on the SE coast.

     

    I've grown weak since living here, though (blood thins quickly, I guess). I would die if I had to live through a Wisconsin winter again. Brrrr.
    16 Dec 2013, 07:39 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Well right now it is 16 degrees...How about where you live? See what I mean.

     

    SE coast sounds fine. My wife has 2 siblings in Florida but I can't put up with their BS... Gotta find my own space.
    16 Dec 2013, 07:50 PM Reply Like
  • User 7415181
    , contributor
    Comments (519) | Send Message
     
    IT,

     

    Then in that case, might I recommend a SW state? Consistent low humidity might do you better...

     

    Happy BD btw.
    16 Dec 2013, 07:52 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3427) | Send Message
     
    Well, we're having a heat wave right now - it's 55. We've had some 20's already, and the overnight temps frequently get down to the low 30's / high 20's.

     

    Still feels cold to me. Anything below 75 and I'm not a happy camper. :)
    16 Dec 2013, 07:59 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » LOWS of 30's....lmao

     

    IT TAKES TWO DAYS TO ADD UP TO 55 degrees where I live right now!

     

    @USER.. Thanks! I will consider all you southerners recommending places. I plan on taking 2 weeks this summer and driving, taking my time, to just look around.

     

    Gotta use my timeshare plan somewhere..
    16 Dec 2013, 08:11 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » USER

     

    The only holdup is family. I only have one kid. So I kinda want to stay within a short flight as she gets older.. My partner of 25 years loved SAN DIEGO,

     

    I believe TACK might be able to add some flavor to some places to seek out !
    16 Dec 2013, 08:14 PM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (12442) | Send Message
     
    IT:

     

    Places to seek out to retire? Well, if so, during my adult life I've lived in:

     

    Maryland
    Rhode Island
    Virginia
    South Carolina
    New York
    California
    Florida

     

    Spent time and have some opinions on others, too Ask away!
    16 Dec 2013, 08:23 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » TACK

     

    I have traveled on business in the Carolinas. Loved the scenery and the people. But as you know on business you don't have enough time to soak in the real life.

     

    Florida is too humid , California is too far from brothers and family, Virginia I believe would still be too cold, Rhode Island I assume would be even colder then upstate NY.

     

    Southern California might be again too far from family.. Ideally I think the south east would fit my needs the best. Not being picky but having 3 disc removed, and in constant pain when cold isn't getting any easier the older I get !
    16 Dec 2013, 08:46 PM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (12442) | Send Message
     
    IT:

     

    Well, FL is the only place in the south where you genuinely avoid winter altogether. No state income taxes either.

     

    SC has the second-lowest composite taxes in country. Greenville very nice.
    16 Dec 2013, 08:55 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » TACK

     

    http://bit.ly/18vVm4b

     

    Ever hear of this place? Looks good on paper. Like every other web site. FEAR gave it the thumbs up already..
    16 Dec 2013, 09:12 PM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (12442) | Send Message
     
    Lots of places like that in south. The question you have to ask yourself is whether you want to be away from any city and living on perpetual "vacation." That may sound idyllic, but it can get very old, too.
    16 Dec 2013, 09:26 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3427) | Send Message
     
    Pfft. Never gets old... :)
    16 Dec 2013, 09:33 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » TACK

     

    I had my office in NYC. 20 years! Never thought I would ever say this but I have no issue being part of a small town. My high school graduation class had a whopping 40 students..

     

    Back in the 60's when my parents moved up here it was a one bar , four gas station town. No traffic, one light. Know what . I LOVE IT !

     

    Now when I go into the city to see a play I honestly don't care to drive and deal with all the taxi's on the streets. Yup, I got old !

     

    So living in a rural area might be what is best for me. Wife would love to have property with horses and a quiet life as well. We both spent most of our working life in the hustle of NYC.

     

    My back doesn't allow me more then an hour of driving before pain starts to set in. I can't sit in my house more then 2 hrs before I have to lay down. But I can stand for 7 hours without an issue.

     

    But don't ask me to bend over to even pick up a box because the spasms start. Now compound that with cold weather and I become a mess.

     

    Tough decisions ahead for sure! My small town has built up over the years as many now commute to the city to work. Shopping malls are within 5 miles. Supermarket and small strip mall is in walking distance from my home. So it has grown.. But is it a city??? NAH
    16 Dec 2013, 09:44 PM Reply Like
  • Fabsy
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
     
    WMARK: Cornered rabbit? Huh?

     

    I am of European origin and my mother is French. Does that disqualify me from an opinion or does my UK/French/Italian/Icel... background provide some interesting new perspectives? You be the judge.

     

    Now, the issue is whether or not US doctors are overpaid. I made the statement and now you require some evidence. OK. Here it is.

     

    First a neat diagram: http://bit.ly/1dkqqBq

     

    Here is one adjusting for PPP (I assume you know what that is):
    http://bit.ly/1dkqqBt

     

    Then link to a study that strips out the cost of education and practice costs as well as sorting for volume to conclude, as all should already know, THAT US PHYSICIANS ARE PAID WAY MORE THAN ALL COMPARABLE COUNTRIES:
    http://bit.ly/1dkqqRH

     

    There is TONNES more (note Euro spelling of metric measure) if you just even try to look. In fact it might be impossible to find ANYTHING that concludes the opposite but have at it.

     

    Now, as a reward will you please now tell me on what basis you insist that US doctors are NOT overpaid relative to their peers? And if you believe they SHOULD be paid this much more, why are you in the same breath complaining about healthcare costs being so high???? That's cognitive dissonance in action
    17 Dec 2013, 12:07 PM Reply Like
  • CWinn1970
    , contributor
    Comments (300) | Send Message
     
    IT... For what it's worth, I'll put in my 2 cents. I was born and raised in Florida, from a father from Brooklyn and a mother from Midwest. Finished college at UCF and relocated to Greenville SC for work in the mid 90's. Cultural shock, maybe a little for a 20 something guy, but it was a nice change of pace. Been here now for about 17 yrs and would never leave or return to FL. Greenville 2013 is light years away from where it was when I moved here. As for the stereotypical "slow pace" I always hear from outsiders, it's bunk! Do a little research, BMW is here, Michelin is here, Hubbel Lighting is here, etc. And as for you need to be in a church to assimilate, another bunch of bunk! Although I'm not a native SC, it frustrates me to hear outsiders pigeonhole the south, and SC specifically. Now I do live in the real world and SC does have its issues, but I would put the upstate of SC up against anywhere else in the country when it comes to raising a family or retiring.

     

    Sorry for the rant.
    22 Dec 2013, 05:36 AM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » @CWINN

     

    No rant at all. Valuable info to pass on to the wife. We will be traveling around this summer scoping out a plan for a few years down the road. A sincere thanks !
    22 Dec 2013, 01:45 PM Reply Like
  • BlueSkyForever
    , contributor
    Comments (1283) | Send Message
     
    Fabsy, I know doctors in London & India & here in the USA. Doctors in the USA are paid anywhere from 10 times or more what doctors in India make. Even in London, my friend who is an MD Ph.D (she became a doctor, then earned a Ph.D ) is paid likely a third of what she would make in a similar position in the USA. Funny thing is, she has told me that visiting the granite/marble mausoleums of her friends (doctors of course) in the USA is at times sickening. Why? Because saving people's lives is not what they are about. Making $ and investing it is their top priority. I have so much respect for the doctor that has always practiced in India. She is really making a difference there, even more than the one in London.

     

    It is also my opinion that the doctor in Hyderabad is really the best one. She has saved the lives of many babies, as she was the only doctor willing to deliver babies from mothers that had HIV - in her entire state. India doesn't have that many states. It is similar to one doctor in this country out of the states of NJ, NY & CT combined willing to do that.
    13 Dec 2013, 04:19 PM Reply Like
  • deercreekvols
    , contributor
    Comments (5056) | Send Message
     
    Three doctors in my family. My grandfather, who practiced medicine in Kenmore, NY for over 40 years. He passed away in the early 1980's. My father, who continues to practice internal medicine at the age of 75. My uncle who retired after a long career as a urologist. My father closed his office and works for County Health. Malpractice Insurance costs were a significant reason for him closing his office after 30+ years.

     

    None of them went into medicine to make $ and viewed investing as a top priority.

     

    Just my opinion that there are many wonderful doctors in the US who are not in the profession to get rich. But what do I know?
    14 Dec 2013, 03:11 PM Reply Like
  • Fabsy
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
     
    Bluesky and Deer: I have to watch out if I am implying doctors are greedy SOBs in the US having been an investment banker (for the vampire squid for a time no less) most of my career and now a Private Equity fund manager. Talk about glass houses!

     

    I dont blame any doctor for maximising their income if the system permits it and they act in good faith. Similarly I never sent a cheque back to GS or CSFB because I thought I was overpaid (although I actually KNEW I WAS for several years). The statement that Doctors in the US are overpaid is morality neutral for the individuals while still being very true in general.

     

    Tell that to WMARKW though. He doesnt seem to believe it while in the same breath talking about Healthcare costs being too high. As if doctors are not part of the same equation!
    15 Dec 2013, 11:05 AM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10221) | Send Message
     
    Thanks again for your comment....once again off the wall. Don't forget, for the SECOND TIME NOW, you are the one with an opinion on US doctors being over paid. I only asked you "according to who", which you have yet to provide any support for your contention....but I guess you will wind up comparing USD to those in Zimbabwe or something.
    16 Dec 2013, 12:30 PM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10221) | Send Message
     
    The ECB is moving rapidly toward the establishment of the Single Resolution Method or SRM.

     

    The following quotes are taken from the opinion of the ECB in the SRM.
    http://bit.ly/19HU413

     

    “The ECB also takes this opportunity to reiterate the position expressed in its Opinion of 27 November 2012 on a proposal for a Council regulation conferring specific tasks on the European Central Bank concerning policies relating to the prudential supervision of credit institutions and a proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010 establishing a European Supervisory Authority (European Banking Authority) (CON/2012/96)2, namely that the SRM is a necessary complement to the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) in order to achieve a well-functioning financial market union. Such a mechanism must therefore be established by the time the ECB assumes its supervisory responsibility in full.”

     

    The SRM is designed to provide a systematic framework for the resolution of banking incidents that portend the failure of a banking institution in the EU. The intent of the SRM is to transfer the risk of failure of a financial institution away from the “taxpayer” and onto the criditors, investors and depositors of EU financial institutions.

     

    “2.6 Bail-in
    The proposed regulation provides that the bail-in provisions shall apply from 1 January 2018. This means that from 2015 until 2018, the SRM may need to resolve banks without this resolution tool. However, if public funds or funds from the SBRF are used in a resolution, the new State aid rules[34] will require the mandatory bailing-in of capital and subordinated debt. Nevertheless, there will be uncertainty as to whether senior unsecured debt can be bailed in since Member States will be free to decide whether they should anticipate the introduction of a bail-in framework.”

     

    See also from the IMF:

     

    From Bail out to Bail in: mandatory Debt Restructuring of Systemic Financial Institutions

     

    http://bit.ly/19HU1Ck

     

    You may think that as a depositor in a bank you have an asset in the way of cash that you can withdraw. But you are becoming an investor in a bank where the government, to protect the taxpayer [ha, ha] will, in the near future, consider your investment at risk to satisfy the financial obligation of the bank. Get ready for deposit confiscation.
    13 Dec 2013, 04:51 PM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (12442) | Send Message
     
    Well, you can always keep it in a mattress. Hey, what's the loss? They're paying no interest, anyway.
    13 Dec 2013, 05:04 PM Reply Like
  • Fabsy
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
     
    WMARKW: What is the purpose of this post of yours. If it is to illustrate that finally the ECB is co-ordinating and defining its role as a lender of last resort for the Eurozone (which is in effect all that a Central Bank should be) all well and good. But I suspect you draw a different conclusion. Tell me, what do you think a Central Bank like the Fed is SUPPOSED TO DO when a bank under its purview fails?

     

    And where the hell do you get from the meat of this post to "deposit confiscation". Do you think deposit confiscation is MORE or LESS likely after the legislation you refer to? Just curious if you understand the post yourself.

     

    Oh, and anyone who believes their money in a bank is a deposit in the same sense as money warehousing haas no place on this forum. But I am curious as to how you believe deposits should be protected WITHOUT a central bank involved and implicit tax payer liability? Are you proposing an end to fractional reserve banking?
    15 Dec 2013, 11:11 AM Reply Like
  • Fabsy
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
     
    Tack: You forget the risk of theft. Can you insure cash under the mattress? What would the premiums be? :-)
    15 Dec 2013, 11:15 AM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » FABSY

     

    Home protection is easy.. As I have stated before my two dog dogs named Smith and Wesson:)
    15 Dec 2013, 02:28 PM Reply Like
  • Fabsy
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
     
    IT: Love it! I need to get a dog and call it Beretta :-)
    15 Dec 2013, 02:39 PM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10221) | Send Message
     
    Fabsy....apparently you don't get the format of this "Reading Chapter" in IT's blog. This is for information and reading material. That you have never read one of the documents I provided clearly suggests that you prefer to "fire from the hip" with you opinions. "Where the hell" I get my conclusion is from these and other documents. Just google ECB, IMF and "Bail-in".....you do know what a "bail-in" is don't you. By definition it is "confiscation".
    16 Dec 2013, 12:32 PM Reply Like
  • Fabsy
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
     
    WMARK. I did read your links and I do know what a bail in is. I also know how a fractional reserve banking system is and the role of a CB within it. Now answer my questions please if you want to take the discussion further.
    16 Dec 2013, 03:57 PM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10221) | Send Message
     
    I already answered your question about bail-ins and confiscation. That's all the post was intended to communicate. You know they exist. What's to discuss?
    16 Dec 2013, 04:12 PM Reply Like
  • Fabsy
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
     
    Whats to discuss is exactly what your problem with them is and what your alternative to them would be. It is fine to whine tht the ball game is called of because it rains, but you dont BLAME anyone for it do you?

     

    So please proceed. What is your alternative and lets see how it stacks up.
    16 Dec 2013, 05:35 PM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10221) | Send Message
     
    I don't have to provide an alternative. I simply provided a warning. It's you that seems to want to "justify" the concept. My alternative is to hold cash or other physical assets. ( I suspect like the citizens of Cyprus did, that will make the banking system recoil.)
    16 Dec 2013, 06:27 PM Reply Like
  • Fear & Greed Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (4091) | Send Message
     
    WmarkW
    News flash : this isnt Cyprus --OOps , i forgot, that was one of those events that was going to crater the market and send gold higher -- Mmm it didn't work out ,,,

     

    best of luck with that investment thesis. those that have decided to follow that have been crushed .. That pain continues on '14 ...
    16 Dec 2013, 06:35 PM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10221) | Send Message
     
    F&G - great to see you are so tuned into my investment strategy. What exactly is it again? You high mindedness is more than a little out of place. You're welcome to talk in terms of general strategies, but to suggest you know mine and what is and isn't working is vapid.

     

    Now if you have a comment in bail-ins - the proceed.
    16 Dec 2013, 06:48 PM Reply Like
  • Fear & Greed Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (4091) | Send Message
     
    WMARKW

     

    thanks for the kind words,,

     

    " My alternative is to hold cash or other physical assets."

     

    was that your comment ? -- my reply was directed to those that may have that as their investment thesis

     

    if not i apologize--- although i do remember you as a frustrated bear - once again , if not i apologize ..
    16 Dec 2013, 07:01 PM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10221) | Send Message
     
    F&G - comment taken out of context re: the "bail-in" issue. The alternative ... is to holding cash in a bank that may be subject to "bail- in".
    16 Dec 2013, 08:04 PM Reply Like
  • Fear & Greed Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (4091) | Send Message
     
    WMARKW

     

    My fault , and my apologies :)
    16 Dec 2013, 08:24 PM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10221) | Send Message
     
    NO problem. You have lots of good things to say.
    17 Dec 2013, 09:09 AM Reply Like
  • Fabsy
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
     
    WMARKW: Are you seriously suggesting holding cash in your house is safer than an insured deposit in a mainstreet US bank? Really? Have you thought this one through? Quite apart from the inflation erosion, you run a much much higher risk of theft than any loss from a bank failure. In fact, if the amount is below the FDIC insured limit, the chances of a loss due to failure are effectively ZERO. In fact I cannot think of a scenario where your cash would be better off than an FDIC insured deposit. Can you? Run your doomsday scenario by me. I am genuinely curious.
    17 Dec 2013, 12:13 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » A lurkers question...

     

    If we do fall into a deflationary economy would the FED have to actually get more involved with their interventions?

     

    Thanks..
    13 Dec 2013, 06:07 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3427) | Send Message
     
    The Fed would fire up those helicopters and commence the money drops.

     

    They CANNOT have a deflationary economy. Period (no asterisk, no footnotes). They will NOT permit it.
    13 Dec 2013, 06:09 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » JBT

     

    What tools do they then have left?
    13 Dec 2013, 06:22 PM Reply Like
  • Macrotrader100
    , contributor
    Comments (2601) | Send Message
     
    See my comments on the other Thread. The Fed cannot create organic economic demand to offset deflationary forces. They can only encourage speculation and risk taking, but have no power over real demand.

     

    Becoming more agressive would move markets further ahead of the organic economy, and that risks a bubble.
    13 Dec 2013, 07:01 PM Reply Like
  • Ordinary Average Guy
    , contributor
    Comments (654) | Send Message
     
    Well, the FED certainly could very quickly head off any deflation if it did exist.

     

    CPI using 1980 model for measure is currently running at 8-9% annually in 2013. The most effective way to raise or lower the CPI rate is to simply change the way that CPI is measured. These changes to the way that CPI is measured have occurred 24-times since 1980!

     

    But the easiest an fastest way to correct deflation if it did occur would be for the FED to divert money from their current monthly purchases of mortgages and treasuries, and simply "print" the money to cover the monthly FICA/SECA taxes and simply add that from the FED to the treasury. Using 2012 figures for Q4, this is about $51-58-billion, monthly. http://1.usa.gov/1j70NLv

     

    In essence this would suspend (temporarily of course) the FICA/SECA (poor taxes) that currently is paid by employers on behalf of employers/employees to the treasury. This action would be very inflationary and very swift. It would also cause a swift surge in labor participation rates with this incentive. In turn, income tax revenues would rise significantly with the increased amount of taxable wages being earned.

     

    Somehow, I don't think that the FED or US Gov't is interested in solving this problem, clearly that is not their goal here...
    14 Dec 2013, 03:07 PM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10221) | Send Message
     
    Complimentary to such an action by the Fed would be for the Treasury to sell Treasuries and the Fed to purchase and the Treasury to use proceeds to pay ALL Social Security obligations. Hey, I wouldn't mind if they cashed me out of my future obligations at a NPV discount and just sent me the cash.....then I could put it in my safe and the banks wouldn't bail-me in as I mentioned above....
    14 Dec 2013, 08:05 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » THIS CAN'T BE GOOD NEWS!

     

    Chinese quality said to be catching up to big U.S. equipment makers

     

    Bad news for U.S. makers of construction and mining equipment: China is closing the quality gap.

     

    Rio Tinto (RIO) CEO Sam Walsh said earlier this week that his company has been increasing purchases of heavy equipment and other items from China, and has found the quality impressive.

     

    Among RIO's purchases were heavy-duty trucks, equipment for loading ships and rail cars that carry ore; "the quality actually was much higher" vs. the traditional supplier, Walsh said. "Instead of spot welds, for example, on the sheet metal they were actually continuous welds."

     

    At the best Chinese equipment makers, “it’s incredible the speed at which they are coming up the quality curve," a J.P. Morgan analyst say, spelling tougher competition for a host of Western equipment makers, including Caterpillar (CAT) and Joy Global (JOY).
    14 Dec 2013, 06:47 AM Reply Like
  • BlueSkyForever
    , contributor
    Comments (1283) | Send Message
     
    We need to support "made in the USA" more than ever.

     

    If it's made in China, I won't buy it. Period.

     

    This year I'm sending my mom & brother baked goods from a bakery in Texas.

     

    http://bit.ly/1c3hBzj

     

    You can find lots of websites that promote American made products - just google "made in America"
    14 Dec 2013, 10:56 AM Reply Like
  • Macrotrader100
    , contributor
    Comments (2601) | Send Message
     
    I don't support buying inferior quality out of patriotism. Period.

     

    This is a major issue for cat and joy, as china is where the sales growth is. And if there are quality Chinese makers, cat and joy are dead over there.
    14 Dec 2013, 11:28 AM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3427) | Send Message
     
    I buy what I can afford. Unfortunately that means buying items that are made outside of the U.S more often than not.

     

    I won't buy Chinese-made tools or car parts, though. They still don't know how to make decent steel. Maybe they import the steel to make their heavy equipment...
    14 Dec 2013, 01:09 PM Reply Like
  • deercreekvols
    , contributor
    Comments (5056) | Send Message
     
    Our go-to auto repair shop and go-to mechanic/owner tells me that finding parts that are not made in China is difficult and the quality of most of these is laughable. We are always willing to pay more for quality parts and I wouldn't care if they came from Mars. I just want something that is made to last.

     

    I would think that most auto techs who have been in the business for 20+ years sees the same thing occurring.

     

    What is the answer? ( I am not being sarcastic here...)
    14 Dec 2013, 03:49 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3427) | Send Message
     
    You can usually tell by the warranty on the part. One-year stuff is typically made in China. The lifetime warranty parts are usually made in Canada, Mexico, and sometimes even in the USA.
    14 Dec 2013, 04:09 PM Reply Like
  • dnorm1234
    , contributor
    Comments (702) | Send Message
     
    >I would think that most auto techs who have been in the business for 20+ years sees the same thing occurring.

     

    Probably the same techs who derided "jap scrap" and don't like all the new fangled technology because it makes it "so hard to wrench on".

     

    Meanwhile, in reality, cars are far more efficient and reliable than ever.

     

    Is there some reason to believe that the Chinese are incapable of manufacturing brake pads and tires?
    15 Dec 2013, 11:12 AM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3427) | Send Message
     
    On the car parts I should have been more specific. I will not buy Chinese made brake parts, specifically rotors, drums, pads, and shoes.

     

    I base this on several years of working in the after-market auto parts business. I left that career in 1999, however, and things may have changed since then - I don't know. I'll err on the side of caution when I'm doing brake work, though.

     

    Chinese-made tools are all junk in my opinion, though.
    15 Dec 2013, 12:24 PM Reply Like
  • Fabsy
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
     
    I defer to your experience there JBTN but I suspect that China will only creep higher and higher up the value chain and improve quality as they advance. For now they are still mostly about cheap labour and low cost manufacturing processes but they are far far too smart to get trapped there. Whatever we like to say about central planning etc. their model is never going to let the IP and know-how stay in the West while they stay with the low margin side of the business. We see that very clearly already. The Chinese are playing it smart and its just a matter of time before they compete on a par with the West in almost all areas.

     

    The Japs pretty much did the same with MITI etc after WW2. Only very late in the process will the central planning start to work against them.
    15 Dec 2013, 02:43 PM Reply Like
  • CoinsK
    , contributor
    Comments (2477) | Send Message
     
    Blu-Sky. What car do you drive?
    15 Dec 2013, 11:25 PM Reply Like
  • CoinsK
    , contributor
    Comments (2477) | Send Message
     
    Capable yes ,willing NO. I was an A'C Delco and Motorcraft salesman for 9 years during the 90's.The OEM parts are mfg. overseas that are in your American cars. better off to just buy a Japanese car and deal with it.At least my Honda was made in America. Marysville ,Ohio .
    15 Dec 2013, 11:28 PM Reply Like
  • Fabsy
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
     
    JBTN; What do you do if the parts are made in China under license for a US company that assembles the finished product in the USA? You are supporting a US company buying the finished goods but hardly supporting US labour etc. Tis the way of the world and it isnt going to change anytime soon. Not until Chinese labour (and related countries) gets much more expensive but even then, I suspect technology will be used more and more to replace labour. It's always going to be hard to be less skilled labour in any developed country going forward. A real challenge for all developed democracies going forward.
    15 Dec 2013, 11:21 AM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » lawsuits I just can't figure out. Being a NY'ER this opens up some wounds..

     

    "Cantor, American Airlines settle over 9/11 attacks

     

    Cantor Fitzgerald has settled a lawsuit with American Airlines (AAL) and its insurers over what Cantor argued was American's negligence in failing to stop the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, when 658 of the firm's 960 employees were killed.
    The amount to be paid wasn't disclosed; Cantor had originally sought $1.1B but later cut that figure to $400-500M."

     

    Really, stop the attack?.....wow. This is what is wrong with this country imo.
    15 Dec 2013, 03:24 PM Reply Like
  • BlueSkyForever
    , contributor
    Comments (1283) | Send Message
     
    Happy Birthday IT!
    15 Dec 2013, 05:45 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » BSF

     

    Thank you.!
    16 Dec 2013, 12:11 AM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » FUTURES AREN'T LOOKING SO GO FOR MONDAY'S OPENING.

     

    Should be an interesting last two weeks of the year!
    16 Dec 2013, 12:59 AM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (12442) | Send Message
     
    Green is not your color?
    16 Dec 2013, 05:19 AM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3427) | Send Message
     
    Yeah, big change over night.
    16 Dec 2013, 07:36 AM Reply Like
  • Fear & Greed Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (4091) | Send Message
     
    Looks like the latest dip was another 2% er Geez..
    16 Dec 2013, 09:28 AM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » TACK

     

    What a difference a few hours make huh....Do you like the Cabana Girls in red or green ?

     

    Nevermind !
    16 Dec 2013, 11:27 AM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (12442) | Send Message
     
    IT:

     

    The girls had to cover up today, only 60 here.
    16 Dec 2013, 12:18 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » TACK

     

    Beats the 30 degrees and a foot of snow on the ground in NY.

     

    Still looking to relocate to the Carolina's one day. I seem to like the Panthers recently over my Jets. Although the Jets are dressed in GREEN my favorite color is BLUE.

     

    Now when my face is RED from the weather it's time for a change don't you think?
    16 Dec 2013, 02:31 PM Reply Like
  • Fear & Greed Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (4091) | Send Message
     
    IT,

     

    Mid 50's in the carolinas today , come on down , & yes the folks here finally have something to cheer about with the Panthers ..
    16 Dec 2013, 02:57 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » FEAR

     

    Still planning on checking out that site we spoke about. A friend of mine wants to join me. Looking to visit during the summer.

     

    This cold weather is very bad for my back. I am stuck indoors and I hate it !
    16 Dec 2013, 03:07 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » For those who follow this sector..

     

    THOUGHTS?

     

    "MREITs digest Anworth's 33% dividend cut

     

    The mortgage REIT sector (REM -0.6%) is lower on a bright green day for the rest of the market, with Anworth Mortgage's (ANH -1.2%) 33% dividend cut Friday night offering another excuse to Sell. Anworth is an agency mortgage player, investing mostly in adjustable mortgages. Anworth's new forward yield of 7.5% is so far out of line with the double digits of the rest of the industry, it suggests even more declines are in store for the stock, or big dividend cuts lie ahead for competitors. At $4.19, Anworth is selling for a near-30% discount to September 30 book value.

     

    Down the most today is American Capital Mortgage (AGNC -2.7%), and its non-agency cousin, American Capital Agency (MTGE -1.7%) is off sharply as well.

     

    Others: Annaly (NLY -1.3%), Armour (ARR -1.2%), Western Asset (WMC -1.8%), Apollo (AMTG -1.4%), Ellington (EFC -0.4%), (EARN +0.2%)

     

    Related ETFs: MORT, MORL"
    16 Dec 2013, 06:44 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (9672) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » back to investing !!!

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    NEW CHAPTER !!!
    16 Dec 2013, 09:59 PM Reply Like
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