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  • QuickChat #246, October 4, 2012 320 comments
    Oct 4, 2012 11:54 AM

    (click to enlarge)

    "Gamer's End" by Stan Bruns.

    Program book cover and Tshirt design for Georgia Fantasy Convention (year that Tom Clancy was Author Guest of Honor and launched his gaming empire with the first edition of Halo). Title is also a pun on the famous "Ender's Game" novel by the great SF novelist, Orson Scott Card.

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  • Fantastic piece of art TB. Your fertile imagination plays out very well in both your investments and artwork!
    4 Oct 2012, 12:01 PM Reply Like
  • I could spend hours studying it and still miss subtle items.
    It is a great piece of work TB. thanks for sharing your fine art skills with us.
    4 Oct 2012, 12:07 PM Reply Like
  • Turkey's parliament has approved a bill authorizing the military to conduct cross-border operations in Syria, a day after a deadly shelling from Syrian territory killed five civilians. The bill allows Mr. Erdogan to deploy troops into Syria without consulting with the national assembly in Ankara.
    4 Oct 2012, 12:07 PM Reply Like
  • Since Syria shot down the Turkish fighter, the Turks have wanted to tack Assad's hide to the wall...


    The Arab League appears poised to support, even provide troops and finance, any move...


    A major fraction of American and NATO naval power is patrolling the Eastern Med and the coast of Iran...


    Syria's boiling civil war is reaching a climax...


    The chess board is fully set, and now the final moves are near.


    At this point we could setup a pool to guess which haven Assad will scoot to, and when.


    I say Iran, and on October 24.
    4 Oct 2012, 12:51 PM Reply Like
  • "It's now clear that to get back into the White House the U.S. president needs running shoes, not flip-flops."


    Quote from an article about European leaders' take on the debate and how worried they are that a Romney win could jeopardize their efforts to save the Euro. I would have put it in the political QC, but thought the Euro capital markets reaction fit better here.

    4 Oct 2012, 01:38 PM Reply Like
  • Perceived Safety of Portfolio Diversification - an Illusion?


    There is an interesting article over on ZeroHedge that points out how the central banks market maneuverings have effectively reduced the safety aspect of portfolio diversification, basically shooting down one of the central tenants of Modern Portfolio Theory [MPT]. I never prescribed to MPT in the first place because I believe it trades off up-side potential for downside protection. But now with the Central banks maneuverings, it seems that a better approach is the old rule, don't fight the FED.
    4 Oct 2012, 01:46 PM Reply Like
  • Silver was doing great this morning and was over $35 for a bit. Then got stomped on hard and is currently $34.85.
    4 Oct 2012, 02:19 PM Reply Like
  • Whether you like Obama Care or not -- you will love this one-sentence summation of it from Dr. Bellar -- Candidate for Illinois State Senate:
    4 Oct 2012, 02:35 PM Reply Like
  • Mercy, merci!


    That was beautiful.


    4 Oct 2012, 02:46 PM Reply Like
  • I just found this site yesterday and wonder if newbies are allowed or is it a closed club??
    4 Oct 2012, 03:40 PM Reply Like
  • As respectfully open as it gets -- welcome!
    4 Oct 2012, 03:42 PM Reply Like
  • Welcome aboard, Times.


    Take a few minutes to explore the site, and get back to us about questions. This particular blog is a very long-running discussion about investments and investment-related news which influences investment results.


    Unlike brand Y and other such, SA blogs give the power to delete offending comments to the blog authors, so we tend to try to keep it polite and avoid personal attacks.
    4 Oct 2012, 03:55 PM Reply Like
  • I see that your posters don't talk about a financial collapse. Does anyone expect this?
    5 Oct 2012, 04:21 AM Reply Like
  • IT,
    Some here may expect it and be prepared for it as best as possible. Expect the worst and hope for the best. Why talk about it, talk is cheap. I sure wouldn't advertise what I was doing in any case. Besides this site is about the discussion of investment ideas and opportunities, not worst case survival tips and tricks (internet is full of those sites). :-)
    5 Oct 2012, 04:29 AM Reply Like
  • Times,


    There are over 240 prior QC's full of commentary. Many of us have been discussing such scenarios here, and of course in FPA's excellent Concentrator devoted to the eurozone situation.


    FocalPoint Analytics' work can be found by visiting his profile page (just click on his avatar and look for his list of instablogs). You can do the same thing with the QuickChat id for the QC's.
    5 Oct 2012, 09:04 AM Reply Like
  • Triple


    Thanks....Still new to your site..
    5 Oct 2012, 04:02 PM Reply Like


    Reason i asked the question was what investments would be good if that ever happened, if any??
    5 Oct 2012, 04:02 PM Reply Like
  • It all depends on the cause of the collapse. This group tends to sort things out in real time, generally ahead of the crowd, and discuss the best ways to take advantage of each situation before the opportunities get away. It doesn't always work as expected, but it's the best place I've found so far. Stick around and enjoy the banter. Add your perspective. We're always looking for a better (or even) a different point of view, just as long as it is presented respectfully. Enjoy and welcome to the QC!
    5 Oct 2012, 09:22 PM Reply Like
  • IT,
    Don't take me too seriously early in the morning, my sense of humor kind of gets a wedgie.;-) Depends on how much of a collapse your thinking about. Silver, gold, crop land, water well, stored food, guns and ammo collapse? Or the more mundane 2007-2008 stock market crash type collapse?
    6 Oct 2012, 02:42 AM Reply Like
  • Haven't seen any option articles from you in awhile. Are you waiting until after the election to initiate any new positions?
    8 Oct 2012, 04:04 PM Reply Like
  • I'm actually waiting more for Qtr 3 earnings season to get a good start. My expectations are that earnings for the S&P 500 will be down YoY for the first time since 2009. I believe that this could be the beginning of a trend that points to a peak in the earnings cycle has already past. It all depends upon how much below 2011 Qtr 3 the earnings tend to be for me to gauge whether my hunch is right or not. If I'm right, I suspect there will be a correction (magnitude unknown) and better valuations to follow. Just my reasoning. I may be way off but it's what my gut and a lot of coincidental data have been telling me for the last three weeks.
    8 Oct 2012, 04:14 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks for your thoughts. I just had 2000 shares of T called away @36 and was thinking of waiting to re-deploy the cash until the market's direction becomes more clear.
    8 Oct 2012, 04:31 PM Reply Like
    9 Oct 2012, 08:31 AM Reply Like


    Lets just say i got my guns and ammo. AS insurance...I am sure you got my point..
    16 Oct 2012, 07:30 PM Reply Like
  • For those of you who have been following my recommendation of Sandstorm Gold for the past year or so, its my pleasure to point out that their SDXXF warrants hit $2 today, from the initial $.31 where I began investing. I am still anticipating even better results in 2013, and this may be my most recent 10x if fortune smiles upon me.


    SAND is also doing extremely well, now over $14.
    4 Oct 2012, 03:58 PM Reply Like
  • TB: congratulations! I hope you have many more!


    4 Oct 2012, 04:15 PM Reply Like
  • indeed... well done...
    4 Oct 2012, 04:18 PM Reply Like
  • I hope that some others in the group got some when it was cheap...
    4 Oct 2012, 04:18 PM Reply Like
  • Yes, thanks, TB. Your tip over the summer was good.


    I am sitting on a few SAND shares up over 50% since August.
    5 Oct 2012, 01:35 PM Reply Like
  • Yes, TB, you are responsible for educating me on SAND. Once I understood the resemblance to my all time favorite SLW -- I was in!
    Many thanks,
    5 Oct 2012, 01:41 PM Reply Like
  • FYI


    Just saw someone mention in stock talks that SAND is on Cramer tonight. Might get a bump next week.
    5 Oct 2012, 06:27 PM Reply Like
  • I thought I read that he already did feature it, Jon. And still, somehow, it survived the CCD (Cramer Ciss of Death.)


    Great selection, TB, and much appreciated. I did my DD thanks to your words so early on, and bought a bunch...
    5 Oct 2012, 09:42 PM Reply Like
  • "CCD" - that's a good one Joseph.


    Tonight JC warned that he thought the SAND CEO comments last week were "a bit aggressive." Specifically he speculated that if gold prices plunge, miners will reduce production and SAND revenues would suffer. With his "CCD" track record, perhaps this Cramer warning will generate another up trend! LOL
    8 Oct 2012, 07:18 PM Reply Like
  • Cramer has a vague idea of how a PM streamer operates, but he needs to do some homework (as usual) to gain true insight.


    It is of course true that a really big crash in gold prices would hurt the entire industry, including the streamers, but then let's define what such a "crash" is likely to be. There is a lot less "bubble" in current prices than many might think. The costs of mining for the entire industry have increased based upon permanent factors and trends, not speculation. As the major gold mining regions have joined the 21st century and met new laws requiring environmental controls, safety standards, union wages, and modern social support systems, the days when productions costs were perpetually low are dead. The fact that the deposits being exploited today are less rich than those of decades past - and thus more costly to work - is a simple result of centuries of man looking for the low hanging fruit. This long term trend continues.


    Increases in the cost structure are a revolutionary rather than evolutionary change, and folks looking back to when gold was trading for $800 an ounce and expecting it to do so again have surely missed the memo that the average cost has shot up to well over that amount for many mines. This puts a floor under any extended down trend.


    Also, SAND has done a great job backing winners, and its long term payouts are based upon extremely conservative numbers built into their contracts.Their current cost of gold is very low, with some streams sporting about $300/oz as a cost basis. This insulates them from all but a truly insane down spike (my current estimate of a really bad temporary drop would be about $1300, for instance, and I would view it as unsustainable for more than a brief period of time).


    Mines with operating costs at or above the spot price would, of course, be forced to cease operations during any long period spent at the bottom. But its no accident that SAND has no high cost producers liable to fall prey to these troubles in its portfolio of streaming contracts...


    SAND and other streamers do see their stock react to the general spot prices on the world markets, just like miners, but their risk and exposure is much less - confined to clients chosen by experts in the streaming field - and leveraged against very conservative estimates of market price, resource and reserve size, and yield.
    9 Oct 2012, 09:00 AM Reply Like
  • Excellent thought process (as usual) TB. There is no question that I am sticking with my streamer preference when it comes to gold and silver. Thanks,
    9 Oct 2012, 09:26 AM Reply Like
  • Regardless of my own thinking, what has been plain to me when the metals run is that the streamers are the preferred mining companies to invest in. I've been stubborn to admitting it, but all checks of performance suggest SLW and SAND have to-date repeatedly been the best ways to play mining the precious metals.
    9 Oct 2012, 11:18 AM Reply Like
  • You GOLD lovers will love this:

    4 Oct 2012, 04:13 PM Reply Like
  • "The Scourge Of Central Banking"


    An excellent treatise on the Fed's actions.


    Long, but worthwhile reading.


    For Conservative types, it is likely "confirmation bias".


    For others, arguments can be rejected out-of-hand.


    Well written and presented, regardless.



    4 Oct 2012, 04:19 PM Reply Like
  • Amplats Fires 12,000 Striking South African Workers


    Several weeks ago, Lonmin the South African platinum miner conceded and agreed to a 22% wage hike. Shortly after that the strike spread to all other South African mining industries, and has even spilled over into the trucking industry, whose ongoing strike has crippled the country and threatens to paralyze all commerce. For example, Shell said on Friday it could not honor fuel delivery contracts around Johannesburg because of truckers' strike. Many supermarkets and logistics firms are running on back-up plans because of the truckers' strike. U.S. car giant General Motors said production at its Port Elizabeth plant on the south coast has been affected.


    The transport union said it wants co-workers on South Africa's railways and ports to strike next week, a development that would affect coal and other mineral shipments. Disruptions in coal deliveries will hit power utility Eskom. Eighty-five percent of South Africa's electricity is generated by coal-fired plants.


    And today, the "other" platinum miner in South Africa decided that instead of yielding to worker demands for a raise it has opted to fire 12,000 workers taking part in the three-week strike. It seems unlikely that the workers will just put down their banners and go back to work.
    5 Oct 2012, 02:13 PM Reply Like
  • Another confirmation of things are better than some think:


    3:09 PM August Consumer Credit rises $18.1B vs. expectations of $7.25B, prior -$2.45B (revised from -$3.3). Revolving loans up $4.3B, non-revolving (student loans) up $13.9. On percentage terms outstanding credit rose 8% in August - revolving +5.9%, non-revolving +9%. [U.S. Economy] 6 Comments
    6 Oct 2012, 07:03 AM Reply Like
  • LT: I'm thinking the rise in student loans with jobs paying commensurate with the education supposedly unavailable in sufficient quantity is not a positive.


    Moreover, revolving loans may be a negative if being used to offset loss of income. The coming holiday spending will make it worse as we'll see that credit expand again and folks think that shows all is getting better.


    We are going though a deleveraging still and the cure for that is not increased leverage.


    Prior quarter GDP revised downward from +1.7% to +1.3%(?) and forward expectations for GDP also being moved lower ...


    ISTM we're just setting up for problems down the road even if we choose to believe the recent jobs numbers, which I'm very doubtful of.


    Disclosure: I believe Mises to be correct that a credit bubble contraction, once begun, can't be aborted.


    I believe a lot of these loan increases will result in higher write-offs later.


    I'll believe things are getting better when wages for the middle class begin a *sustained* steady growth to some "reasonable" level for the conditions existing.


    6 Oct 2012, 08:12 AM Reply Like
  • I seen the student loan part, which I don't like either. The revolving loans and other credit is a sign credit is flowing better again.


    Trust me, I am not a fan of increased debt, rising wages is key to things improving the way we would like. But trust me, the market won't like it. Increased wages will come right out of corp profits.


    There will be the "battle of all battles" if the middle class was to revive at the expense of corporate wage increases and lower profits. An example is Lockheed Martin threatened to lay off 300,000 workers in one week in Virginia IF the gov't cut/cancelled their contracts further to curtail gov't spending.
    6 Oct 2012, 12:01 PM Reply Like
    6 Oct 2012, 08:04 AM Reply Like
  • Thanks OG and here's another take on the growing odds of a correction nearing:

    7 Oct 2012, 01:18 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks OG, MJ.


    Speculative question. The lead-lag report suggests some sector rotation is underway, i.e. - out of small caps, technology. Say an overall "market correction" of 15% occurs. How much of such a correction might one expect to see in additional decline in sectors investors have (had) already moved away from.
    7 Oct 2012, 01:59 PM Reply Like
  • D-Inv,
    Don't have a short answer -- but you may find helpful several of the articles written by Michael Gayed on the topic (see bottom of his Instablog.) He is the Chief Investment Strategist at Pension Partners which is the source of several of the charts in the lead lag report above. Michael has been on target with 3 calls he made this year when others gave him a hard time for making the calls:
    7 Oct 2012, 03:02 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks for the input, MJ.
    7 Oct 2012, 11:44 PM Reply Like
  • 5:27 AM Pfizer's (PFE) aggressive tax-avoidance schemes are under scrutiny from the SEC, which has sent the phama giant a letter asking how it was able to earn record profit abroad and losses domestically despite generating 40% of its sales in the U.S. Pfizer's trick is to park its cash in low-tax jurisdictions. Comment! [Healthcare]
    7 Oct 2012, 06:08 AM Reply Like
  • Something to watch.
    7 Oct 2012, 11:53 PM Reply Like
  • That could be huge. If Apple is unwilling to allow resale of its used products to third parties it could require you to trade it in or throw it away. After all, even if you donated it to a charity, the charity would then have to ask permission. If denied, the gift to charity would have no value.


    The same would apply to autos and everything else made overseas. It would mean that if you owned a Toyota built in Japan, Toyota could force you to trade it in with one of their own dealerships, drive it until it falls apart, or junk it. The parts could not be resold by salvage dealers who would be forced out of business.


    Companies that wanted to control resale of their used products would automatically move all production overseas and the jobs would go with them. This could change everything! This is huge!
    8 Oct 2012, 01:34 PM Reply Like
  • K202: I'm not a lawyer, but unless there were a pre-purchase disclaimer or contract somewhere that said "You can't sell what you've purchased", I can't see how it can stand.


    ISTM it's the equivalent of, for *past* purchases anyway, of only disclosing pages 1-4 of a 5 or 6 page contract and getting the buyer through incomplete disclosure.


    Other than that, ISTM it's just a continued erosion of one of the foundations of a true capitalist economic system - property rights.


    If it's upheld, I expect sales of such to plummet as folks realize a reduced "residual value" and difficult paperwork issues even if you did want to buy and possibly re-sell later, even in hardship cases.


    I do believe there's a fallacy in your off-shoring scenario though - I suspect home-groan (sic) businesses will spring up to provide local product.


    8 Oct 2012, 01:44 PM Reply Like
  • It's unenforceable. Of course, I said that about Obamacare too.
    Antiques from Spain were never copyrighted. That's a poor example the writer illustrated, imo. Copyrights are of finite length anyway, so how would anything old be included?
    Let's hope the supreme court doesn't get creative again.
    8 Oct 2012, 02:34 PM Reply Like
  • OG & HTL - I agree with both of you in many regards, but it is something to keep an eye on after the surprise by Roberts on Obamacare, imo.


    HTL - I can see some companies deciding to move production to the US if there is a consumer revolt of sorts. I also agree that it is very unlikely to be "grandfathered in" so it shouldn't apply to prior purchases. But one never knows since the patents were already in place prior to the decision. All the artists will be in favor, of course, and many of the (purported) news media companies are owned by parent companies with a lot of original media work that they would love to protect and derive more revenue from.


    This whole thing smells like it has origins in the UN as a way to redistribute wealth from US citizens to the rest of the world to me. I have less faith in the SCOTUS now than I did just a few months ago, otherwise I wouldn't be concerned.


    I wouldn't expect this to go anywhere unless BO is re-elected to a 2nd term and makes another appointment or two to further skew the SCOTUS. Then I might actually get really worried.
    8 Oct 2012, 04:22 PM Reply Like
  • ISTM there are ample grounds to be worried. Two lower level courts have already ruled in the patent holder's favor. That in and of itself astounds me. And like K202, i have little faith in SCOTUS after the Obamacare ruling.


    Roberts has demonstrated ample capacity to disregard legislative history of statutes at issue and historical interpretations of tangential law.
    8 Oct 2012, 05:29 PM Reply Like
  • I think there is something to be concerned about here, as the issue is not as simple as headlines and boing boing make it out to be. It is not a matter of whether "you can sell your own stuff," but of whether you can legally import copyrighted material made in other countries for resale here.


    There are conflicting statutes, and one of them specifically forbids such importation. You can bring a book bought overseas back with you for your personal use, but buying thousands of textbooks overseas and reselling them on eBay apparently runs afoul of the law that specifically gives the copyright holders rights for such importation.


    There is a substantial difference between owning a single item and disposing of it as your personal property, and running an importation business trading hundreds or thousands of such copyrighted items. At least that seems to be the gist of the argument that has held up in the lower courts. The law at issue regulates a business practice, rather than addressing how one disposes of personal property. However, it also clearly conflicts with the longstanding concept of personal property rights embodied in our constitution and common law.


    See the amicus curiae brief filed by the American Association of Publishers, (p7), on the SCOTUSblog:



    "By prohibiting the importation of copies made abroad for foreign markets, 17 U.S.C. § 602(a)(1) protects core aspects of the exclusive distribution right. It ensures that U.S. copyright owners have, as Congress intended, the right to determine when and where to distribute their works, at what price, and with what content, including the right to do so even if they first exploited their works in markets abroad.


    "Petitioner’s argument that the first sale doctrine in 17 U.S.C. § 109 applies to non-piratical copies made and acquired abroad so long as there has been a first sale (even if abroad) effectively neuters §602(a)(1) and strips copyright owners of the statutory exclusive right to import. Neither the statutory text nor the structure of these and related statutory provisions support that argument. The history of the drafting and enactment of § 602(a)(1) shows that the provision was intended to bar the unauthorized importation of copies made under for- eign law for foreign use, whether piratical or author- ized. Construing §§ 109 and 602(a)(1) to permit the unrestricted importation of any copies of any works previously sold once abroad is insupportable under the history and text of §602(a)(1) and renders § 602(b) senseless. Petitioner’s construction would cause a seismic shift in copyright law, supplanting the U.S. market with copies made and previously sold abroad, and severely impairing the incentives to create and disseminate copyrightable work, the qual- ity of published works, and the vitality of domestic publishers."
    8 Oct 2012, 06:00 PM Reply Like
  • SM, thanks for the input.
    8 Oct 2012, 06:14 PM Reply Like
  • >SMaturin ... This is an utterly fascinating lawsuit. There are just so many outcomes it could lead to. Not many will be good for the common person. A world where you go to the store and purchase an enforceable software-like licensed item. Resellers, charities, garage sales will need to pay transfer fees. This is a corporate dream come true (artisans & authors could benefit too, but they don't count), It could lead to the destruction of small businesses & put a real damper on competition if it passes into law. The imagination can run wild.
    8 Oct 2012, 07:53 PM Reply Like
  • Forbes op ed why the US patent system should be scrapped.
    8 Oct 2012, 09:13 PM Reply Like
  • World Bank: Asia (China!) slowing...


    "China's slowdown this year has been significant, and some fear it could still accelerate," the World Bank said.
    Commodity exporters could be most at risk in case of a renewed global slowdown, the report said. They include Mongolia, Laos, Timor Leste, Fiji and Papua New Guinea. ..."
    8 Oct 2012, 12:35 AM Reply Like
  • "The bank cut this year's growth outlook for developing Asia-Pacific economies to 7.2 percent, down from its May forecast of 7.6 percent. The bank cut its forecast for China, the region's biggest economy, to 7.7 percent from May's 8.2 percent."


    That's still growth.


    A slowdown in Europe or the U.S. means growth below 1% or a recession. A slowdown in Asia means 7% growth?




    I think the longer term question with China is if their middle class is still growing and if their consumption per capita is still growing. If they consume half as much as we do, they'll consume twice as much as we do (because their population is 4 times larger, for now).
    8 Oct 2012, 06:40 AM Reply Like
  • 7.8% was the goal for a "soft landing" for China's central planners.


    This bank's estimate of 7.7% is well within the margin of error.


    Only those xperts and analists whose plans required a perpetual condition of Chinese and Asian growth aroiund 14-18% per annum should be shocked at this "slow down".
    8 Oct 2012, 09:32 AM Reply Like
  • The biggest threat to growth is still the European and US economies, and third is probably Japan. However, if this growth slows down more quickly, we will see commodities go lower (a point made in the article).
    Particularly in the energy sector that would be helpful, imo. But as a practical matter, it means shorting energy makes more sense than buying it at these levels.
    8 Oct 2012, 09:46 AM Reply Like
  • Agree OG. That said, Marc Faber said the other day he has started buying stocks in Spain, Italy and a few other European countries for the first time in his life because they've gotten cheap. I suspect he's a little early and just beginning to nibble... but it was an interesting thought.
    8 Oct 2012, 09:55 AM Reply Like
  • Interesting that the biggest bear/ king of doom & gloom is buying....
    8 Oct 2012, 10:38 AM Reply Like
  • I agree LT. It is even more interesting considering the European indexes were about 10-15% cheaper a couple months ago when he had his most pronounced doom face on.
    8 Oct 2012, 10:41 AM Reply Like
  • And the trade war that seems to be starting between China and Japan is just warming up. It may get settled, but if not it could also lead to an expansion of trade disagreements and more global slow down. Not an opinion, just an observation of the what ifs.
    8 Oct 2012, 01:45 PM Reply Like
  • Permabears go long, particularly where they see value. The ideology does not exclude any particular kind of trade.
    8 Oct 2012, 12:00 PM Reply Like
  • 4:28 AM The IMF is pushing the EU and ECB to approve a third bailout for Greece or take a haircut on the country's bonds in order to reduce its debt to more sustainable levels, MarketWatch reports. The speculation comes ahead of Angela Merkel's visit to the country today. Publicly, the IMF and EU are calling on Greece to do yet more, with the latter outlining 89 steps the government must take. [Global & FX] Comment!
    4:12 AM More on the IMF: The fund also predicts that France's deficit will be 4.7% this year and 3.5% next vs. the country's goal of 3.5% in 2013. The IMF sees Italy's deficit at 1.8% next year vs a target of 0.5%, and it expects Greece's debt to hit 171% in 2012 and 182% in 2013, much higher than the fund's outlook six months ago. The IMF reiterates its warning that the U.K. should slow austerity if the economy continues to founder. [Global & FX, Top Stories] Comment!
    9 Oct 2012, 04:57 AM Reply Like
  • Rough earnings season predicted:

    9 Oct 2012, 12:43 PM Reply Like
  • 4th quarter should improve...
    9 Oct 2012, 01:49 PM Reply Like
  • Yes. I agree. But will it make a new record high? If it does not, I would say that the peak in EPS may already be behind us for this cycle. Qtr4 needs to be big to regain any momentum, imho.


    But I am hoping for a new record EPS in Qtr 4. I'm just not holding my breath.
    9 Oct 2012, 03:54 PM Reply Like
  • IMHO -- Laurie Goodman is one of the brightest minds in the housing finance space. I completely agree with her that our housing recovery chatter is getting ahead of current realities. Until Washington makes some hard structural decisions in this space, housing value upticks may indeed be short lived.


    SA Market Currents:
    Today - Tuesday, October 9, 12:01 PM Ease up on the housing recovery chatter, advises Amherst's Laurie Goodman, who reminds similar calls in 2009, 2010, and 2011 all faded by the winter. Take away seasonal factors, she says, and headlines touting recovery are far more dramatic than any housing improvement. Earlier: Fannie Mae, CoreLogic. 2 Comments [U.S. Economy]
    9 Oct 2012, 02:13 PM Reply Like
  • Seasonality! Very good point, especially for housing.
    9 Oct 2012, 03:56 PM Reply Like
  • Something to consider.
    9 Oct 2012, 02:15 PM Reply Like
  • Robert: The only flaw I see is in the projected gas price. Everything else works for me.


    For gas, consumption continues to fall and I think it's more refinery issues that affect the rise in gas prices right now. With projected continued deceleration in GDP growth, we should expect gas consumption to continue to fall.


    Supply and demand issues will apply some downward pressure which *might* be sufficient to prevent extreme gasoline price rises.


    9 Oct 2012, 02:43 PM Reply Like
  • Our refineries are aging and there are no plans for new ones. These disruptions will continue and become more frequent with the aging equipment. I think the situation gets worse without much prospect of getting better.
    9 Oct 2012, 03:15 PM Reply Like
  • >robert.b.ferguson ... No new refineries have been built because they are NOT needed. Six refineries have been expanded here in Texas in the last 2 years. Refinery count is down because independents as disappearing. The USA has about 1/3 more capacity than demand requires. We export finished oil.
    9 Oct 2012, 03:19 PM Reply Like
  • We do indeed export many petroleum distillates including polymers. However those aren't fuel. If your statement is true why is gasoline subject to such acute price crunches every time there is a fire or other disruption in any facility?
    9 Oct 2012, 04:24 PM Reply Like
  • why does oil go up on rumors of anything? especially the middle east
    9 Oct 2012, 05:24 PM Reply Like
  • LT,
    Oil traders who have no intention of ever taking delivery on their futures contracts see it all as a high stakes/profitable game laced with Brent/WTI spreads; storage tank helicopter spy missions, contango, etc. I think rumors just add to the excitement of the plays to see who gets psyched out. Below is a link to an insightful article about how the game is played with WTI and Cushing storage tanks as the centerpiece. "Oil that can’t be moved to where it needs to go quickly drops in price. The result has been one of the biggest arbitrage opportunities in recent memory." As one trader confessed: “I’ve been in this business for 30 years,” says Swearingen, “and I’m having more fun than I’ve ever had.”


    And off shore internationally the intrigue is just as engaging for traders. The example I posted recently of Iran shipping their oil to an island off of Malaysia to then be carried off by Panamanian tankers to boycotted destinations is just the tip of the iceberg.
    9 Oct 2012, 05:49 PM Reply Like
  • Don't confuse crude oil with refined products.
    9 Oct 2012, 05:57 PM Reply Like
  • Thank you very much for that article Mercy. As you guys know, I have been talking oil for the past several months. During this time, I noted the large increase in rail shipments... Mercy's link describes the reason for the increase in oil rail traffice. I also included another article that goes into a bit more detail on the rail play.


    From Mercy's link:
    The Oil Hub Where Traders Are Making Millions


    Since 2008, Musket has been buying oil from the wellhead in North Dakota and railing it straight to the Gulf Coast refiners. “We were probably one of the very first people to make that move,” says Fjeld-Hansen. Initially, Musket sold its North Dakota barrels into Cushing. But Fjeld-Hansen says he hasn’t sold a drop of oil at Cushing in more than a year. Recently he’s also been sending it to the East Coast by rail, where refiners are stuck taking more expensive imported oil.


    He’s up to about 40,000 barrels per day. “Why would I sell into Cushing [the middleman] when the price is so depressed there?” he says. “Let’s say it costs me $9 to rail from North Dakota to Cushing, but it costs me $12 to go all the way to the Gulf Coast. If I can get an extra $10 to $15 at the Gulf Coast than what I would get at Cushing, why in the world wouldn’t I just keep going?”


    In an odd step back in time, railroads are moving more crude these days than they have since the early part of the 20th century. In 2009 railroads moved a total of about 7.5 million barrels. In the second quarter of 2012 alone they moved more than 36 million barrels. The trend has given a boost to railroad companies such as BNSF (BRK/A) and Union Pacific (UNP). Rather than sign long-term contracts with pipeline companies, big oil producers/ refiners such as Phillips 66 (PSX), Statoil (STO), and Hess (HES) are starting to lease and purchase their own rail cars.


    To this I add the following:
    Best Shale Investment: US Railroads


    The best way to play shale is from owning the beneficiaries of low gas prices – petrochemical companies – and the beneficiaries of transporting shale oil across North America – the railroad industry.


    The fact is that increased oil production, from both Canada and North Dakota, has nearly overwhelmed the existing transportation system in that part of North America. Drilling techniques such as hydraulic fracturing have increased oil production in North Dakota sevenfold to more than 600,000 barrels a day, moving the state to second behind only Texas in U.S. oil production. The U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts that production there will surpass 1 million barrels a day next year. Even in Canada, oil production is expected to top 4.1 million barrels of oil a day next year, up from just 3 million barrels a day in 2005.


    The drilling in areas like North Dakota is occurring in a region with few refineries and a limited pipeline network. So that leaves one alternative to transporting the oil taken out of the ground in North Dakota: railroads.


    According to the Association of American Railroads, overall U.S. rail shipments of oil have almost quadrupled to 88,026 rail car loads in the first half of 2012, from only 22,714 in the first half of last year. In 2008, there were less than 10,000 carloads annually.


    The key here for investors is that this is not a blip, but part of a long-term trend. Just take a look at what two of the country's major refining companies – Tesoro (TSO) and Phillips 66 (PSX) have done in recent months. Tesoro this month will complete a rail facility at its West Coast refinery in Washington, to receive Bakken crude from North Dakota from 800 rail cars it had ordered previously. In June, Phillips 66 ordered 2,000 rail cars at a cost of $200 million to transport shale oil from North Dakota fields to its refineries.


    All of this is great news for the railroads, and should bring smiles to the faces of shareholders in railroads such as (CSX), Canadian Pacific (CP), and BNSF, which is now owned by Warren Buffett's Berkhsire Hathaway.


    Canadian Pacific, for example, recently told attendees at an investor conference that the company expected oil shipments it carries to rise from 13,000 carloads last year to leap to at least 70,000 carloads sometime in 2013.


    Burlington Northern SantaFe (BNSF) is a particular beneficiary of the Bakken shale oil boom, since it carries 44% of the region's oil exports. It has built terminals along its routes throughout the region that are capable of handling 1 million barrels of oil a day, well above the current 290,000 barrels a day it handles. The company expects that, even after planned pipelines are built, it will still handle between 25% and 37% of the Bakken's oil exports.


    Of course, it's not all gravy for the railroad companies. Take CSX, for instance. The shale boom has hit the coal industry hard, and therefore coal shipments are down sharply. CSX coal shipments were down 28% in the first quarter of 2012, though earnings were up marginally. Coal has traditionally accounted for 20%-25% of of traffic for big rail companies like CSX.


    So the question remains whether transporting oil from the Bakken and elsewhere – after a large investment into tank cars, which CSX CFO Frederik Eliasson calls a “risk” - will offset the decline in railroads' coal business.


    For now, the railroads think the answer is yes. They are planning to at least triple capacity to move oil in the months and years ahead. With cheaper domestic crude oil from the Bakken luring the refineries to use cheaper domestic oil instead of expensive imported crude oil, the railroads seem to be sitting in the perfect spot as the transporter of that oil.


    I just started buying railroads last week as part of my oil play. I started with (CSX). I will be looking to buy (UNP) and (CP) on any dips. A key part of the play here is to look at coal exposure.


    By the way, I am likely going to be moving in a coal stock in the near future... but that's another story.
    9 Oct 2012, 06:52 PM Reply Like
  • >robert.b.ferguson ... A multifaceted question. The majors have bought up most of the independents so there are fewer points of supply producing more. According to a capitalist system this is a good thing ... economy of scale, less competition, less labor. Because there is ample capacity distribution becomes critical. California has had 3 refinery problems in the past few months. Storage started the summer high and was drawn down to below seasonal averages. No problems there.


    The most recent problem and the ensuing price spike was from the Western pipeline (I believe it was a failed injection station) having a hiccup which was fixed but did reduce supplies by 2.5%. It was fixed quickly and by the end of last week things were back to normal. Now the biggest reason for the out of proportion spike is that there are a lot of people (like myself) not directly associated with the industry trading oil. I'd call them speculators but so many claim that particular specie of trader doesn't exist. These people that don't actually exist have huge sums of money in the market far in excess of actual supply.


    A temporary justification and a little money spent on PR and ... Boom ... a week or two of distorted prices. Longer if consumers get convinced by the PR and/or distribution can be routed properly. It is just the Enron model of deregulated marketing. Self regulating industry and financialized markets is what America wants so these kinds of things are just going to be normal and exploited when possible.
    9 Oct 2012, 05:53 PM Reply Like
  • I think that we are going to be hearing A LOT more about the House committee report urging U.S. companies not to use Huawei and ZTE's gear.


    First, the report says: " there’s the apocalyptic worry that Huawei could build “backdoors” into its systems that are nearly impossible to detect, that would allow covert eavesdropping, or even allow it to shut down key networks in the event of war. In that vein, the report argues there are much closer business links with the Chinese military than admitted by Huawei: “The Committee also received internal Huawei documentation from former Huawei employees showing that Huawei provides special network services to an entity the employee believes to be an elite cyberwarfare unit within the PLA [People’s Liberation Army]."


    Second, now comes a warning directly from the Chinese:
    6:52 PM A Chinese government spokesman warns a House committee report urging U.S. companies not to use Huawei and ZTE's gear will "undermine cooperation and development" between the U.S. and China. Arik Hesseldahl notes Cisco (CSCO), which derives 16% of its sales from the Asia-Pac region and just ended its partnership with ZTE, has plenty to lose if a "telecom trade war" breaks out. An EU anti-dumping case against Huawei and ZTE has been delayed. [Tech] 1 Comment
    9 Oct 2012, 07:31 PM Reply Like
  • The government is finally waking up to the dangers of outsourcing critical technology. I wonder what woke the fools that run this country up?
    9 Oct 2012, 07:41 PM Reply Like
  • The political class has only one sense, and it is not one of the traditional five...


    But it is highly developed in the more successful political animals. That sense is the "re-election vibratory sense". Like a spider with all 8 legs poised to feel the slightest hint that prey has blundered into their web, politicos have their organs finely tuned to those things which can either enhance their election prospects, or destroy them.


    Close proximity to an actual election elevates these sense organs into a near-psychic capacity...


    As soon as these mighty political organs have accomplished their re-election mission, however, the political herd promptly falls back into its customary state of deep hibernation.


    It is really not surprising that normally insensate politicos display hitherto unknown insight while in the throes of self-reelection survival, but it would be truly astounding if they continue to do so after the sheeple placidly enter the paddocks and put their hoofprints in the indicated squares on the ballots.
    9 Oct 2012, 08:07 PM Reply Like
  • Been going on for a while. Huawei was stealing Cisco intellectual property 10 years ago.

    9 Oct 2012, 09:15 PM Reply Like
  • Cummins (CMI) lowered its full year revenue outlook for 2012 to approximately $17 billion compared to the Company’s previous guidance of $18 billion. Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) are now expected to be approximately 13.5% for the year, compared to prior guidance of 14.25% - 14.75%.


    Cummins expects to reduce its workforce by between 1000 and 1500 people by the end of the year.


    CMI is down over 7% after-hours.
    9 Oct 2012, 07:49 PM Reply Like
  • One thing I was recently looking at was the sale of small diesels to Fiat, er, Chrysler to use in their Ram trucks. Fiat chose to dismantle the Dodge brand when they took Chyrsler off the government's hands, and re-branded the pickups as "Rams". This apperars to have enraged Dodge fans, one of the older and longest suffering groups among automotive enthusiasts. Along with other changes to the marketing of trucks by American makers, I was curious if this might end up affecting Cummins...
    9 Oct 2012, 08:13 PM Reply Like
  • Happy 5 year anniversary to the S&P 500's all-time high.
    9 Oct 2012, 08:20 PM Reply Like
  • " Fiat chose to dismantle the Dodge brand when they took Chyrsler off the government's hands, and re-branded the pickups as 'Rams'."


    Interesting tidbit I had not been aware of. May have hurt, but September sales at least were higher than last year.
    Ram Truck brand sales up 4 percent compared with same month last year
    Ram Cargo Van sales up 223 percent versus same month a year ago
    Ram Truck brand unveils new 2013 Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty pickups and 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab work trucks at Texas State Fair
    9 Oct 2012, 08:22 PM Reply Like
  • Imagine the state of those Ram cargo van sales last year for that sort of gain...


    I was actually looking at a longer term effect rather than short term, and whether the increases were going to be sufficient to make Chrysler a profitable marque for Fiat.


    Given the drop in business for major heavy equipment makers, its probably problems with them rather than the less profitable business they do with the little trucks giving Cummins problems.
    9 Oct 2012, 08:59 PM Reply Like
  • So the large drop in jobless claims were purely a function of missing data from " a large state": The state in question wasn't specified by Labor Dept;

    11 Oct 2012, 09:55 AM Reply Like
  • "...a large state whose name begins with "C"..."
    11 Oct 2012, 10:08 AM Reply Like
  • Call me the TFH King, I still think there is a portion of unemployed Democratic supporters who have decided to stop claiming benefits for a few weeks.
    11 Oct 2012, 10:12 AM Reply Like
  • Her's the latest on the missing data:


    "Here's what actually happened. The state did report weekly jobless claims but did not process and report its quarterly claims number (when many people have to reapply for benefits for technical reasons as opposed to being newly laid off). As a result, there wasn't the expected spike in claims that normally happens at the start of the quarter...


    In other words, the drop of 30,000 last week had more to do with the lack of expected re-filings at the start of the fourth quarter than with any particular improvement in labor market conditions.


    That also means that the decline which usually follows the spike won’t be as pronounced this time around, so the headline tally of jobless claims is likely to rebound next week. "
    11 Oct 2012, 12:43 PM Reply Like
  • The analyst also said:


    “However, the analyst said this is not the first time this state has
    delayed the recertification process, causing it to exhibit a decline
    rather an increase in the first week of the quarter.”
    11 Oct 2012, 01:09 PM Reply Like
  • A clear case demonstrating that the Fed can't see beyond the nose on their face (and all the other considerations of crony capitalism) ...


    "However, look at total personal interest income, only one of just a few categories to actually have declined since 2008. It has gone down significantly, by approximately $400 billion. This is about 2.5% of total GDP!"


    This from "How The Fed Has Slowed The Recovery" by Rich Rezny here.



    I think it's worth a read even though it chooses to focus on only one negatively-impacted segment of the populace, to our country's detriment.


    11 Oct 2012, 11:02 AM Reply Like
  • That was a good article HTL -- it made the SA "Lunchtime Reads."


    The "saver" of ALL ages is being penalized for saving -- instead of spending or investing in risk -- which is what Dr. Bernanke would have everyone do to save the economy.


    Anyone who saves -- would do well to think about USD diversification with their choice of strong currencies around the world which are not being debased through deficits and printing. Roger Conrad of Australian Edge referenced some important facts recently. As an example -- he took a look at the Australian currency (AUD):


    "When the first round of quantitative easing (QE1) started on November 25, 2008, the United States was hit by inflation while the Aussie dollar skyrocketed in value...


    At the start of QE1, an Aussie dollar was worth 64 U.S. pennies. One year and a quarter later, that same Aussie dollar equaled $0.92. Over 41% growth because of U.S. printing presses. $100,000 "invested" in an Aussie mattress in 2008 would have earned you $41,500!


    And the Trend Continues with QE2. Two years later, QE2 kicked off, and from November 2010 to April 2011, the Aussie dollar gained 14.4% in less than 6 months...And it is not just quantitative easing—Australia keeps its house in order [in terms of government expenditures.]"


    And it doesn't take a very fertile imagination to consider what QEi will do to the USD longer term.


    So when interest rates are kept artificially low as they are now -- savers can protect themselves in part with strong currency diversification of their savings [e.g. through sovereign bond purchases or quality high yielding equities in the currency of their choice.] 10 years from now $1 USD invested this way could be worth 2 or 3 times the purchasing power of $1 USD today -- and that is BEFORE weighing capital appreciation or dividend yield into the equation. Of course if our elected officials got religion and suddenly became fiscally responsible -- average savers of all ages would not need to evaluate these alternative strategies.
    11 Oct 2012, 01:41 PM Reply Like
  • I tend to agree with Conrad, but have several quibbles:


    There is a common thread to most of the "strong currency" stories, ie, they feature countries with large land masses, huge natural resources, and small populations. Would Australia, Canada, or even Norway be in the same shape without giant commodity exports? I think not.


    The fact that this currency exchange shift also occurred during a period when the US took extraordinary steps to curtail exports of all kinds for a variety of wierd motives (ecological, geopolitical, and ideological, to name a few) was also no coincidence.


    A major factor was the massive (but very temporary) buildup of Chinese demand for those natural resources. An unsustainable Chinese growth spurt created the initial shower of profits for the resource exporters, and a debt-fueled infrastructure buildup which was used to carry China through the worst of the financial meltdown and great world recession followed. The prospects for a continuation of either of these unique events in the future are dim.


    I am certain that the vacuous national leadership portrayed by the last 3 or 4 US Administrations and Congresses have much to answer for our problems, and sure, let's throw in the connivance of the various 2Big2Fail banks that should have gone the way of the dinosaur as a result of their collusion in our destruction...


    But there is a cause and effect relationship that is rarely examined in this sort of analysis, and I believe it is important.


    Having said all this, I have long invested with an eye to the concept that fiat currencies of all kinds are suspect, while commodities will rule us all in the end.
    11 Oct 2012, 02:45 PM Reply Like
  • The Federal Reserve is now posting on Seeking Alpha
    11 Oct 2012, 11:52 AM Reply Like
  • Loved this post from Pater Tenebrarum over on ZH.


    His usual laser sharp economic analysis and dessicated Teutonic wit.

    11 Oct 2012, 12:38 PM Reply Like
  • Boy, howdy! As we say in Texas. I also love the excerpts from Der Spiegal. Other countries are very aware of the destruction being implemented by their, and our, governments.
    12 Oct 2012, 01:37 AM Reply Like
  • Hi guys... I am confused... does anyone know if SeaDrill... SDRL requires a K1 to be filed?
    11 Oct 2012, 09:31 PM Reply Like
  • SDRL is incorporated in Bermuda. It's shares trade on the Oslo exchange and as ADRs on the NYSE. I know the name can throw an investor (Seadrill Limited) but it does not appear to be a partnership. I can find no evidence of the need for a K1. If you own the company through a brokerage, they should be able to give you a definitive answer. Of, if you don't own it and are considering it, the same would apply. The company pays out what appears to be all cash flow not needed for operations and capital expenditures in dividends. And it leverages each new rig purchase quite heavily. As long as oil prices remain above $80 it should continue to do well, imo. Most of your return from here should come from the dividend, but if the price follows the dividends you could get some appreciation as it adds some new rigs now under construction.
    11 Oct 2012, 11:18 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks so much for that K2!
    11 Oct 2012, 11:49 PM Reply Like
  • FPA -- K202 rightly points out that no K1 is involved with SDRL on the US or Oslo exchange..


    FYI -- I do want to be sure that you are aware, however, of the difference between SDRL and SDLP (Seadrill Partners -- an MLP) which will soon have an IPO in the US.) Although it is structured as an MLP -- note below that they have "elected to be treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes" which also implies 1099 reporting instead of the K1:


    "Seadrill Partners (SDLP) IPO Filing
    We are a growth-oriented limited liability company recently formed by Seadrill Limited (NYSE: SDRL) to own, operate and acquire offshore drilling rigs. Our drilling rigs are under long-term contracts with major oil companies such as Chevron, Total, BP and ExxonMobil with an average remaining term of 3.1 years as of June 30, 2012. We intend to grow our position in the offshore drilling market by continuing to provide excellent service to these customers with our modern, technologically advanced fleet. We also intend to leverage the relationships, expertise and reputation of Seadrill to re-contract our fleet under long-term contracts and to identify opportunities to expand our fleet through acquisitions. Seadrill is one of the world’s largest international offshore drilling contractors, and we believe Seadrill will be motivated to facilitate our growth because of its significant ownership interest in us.


    Election to be Treated as a Corporation


    We have elected to be treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Consequently, among other things, U.S. Holders (as defined below) will not be directly subject to U.S. federal income tax on our income, but rather will be subject to U.S. federal income tax on distributions received from us and dispositions of units ..."


    12 Oct 2012, 05:21 AM Reply Like
  • Thank you for the info Mercy...
    12 Oct 2012, 01:16 PM Reply Like
  • Coca Cola leaves Greece ... making me wonder if a Greece exit is not in the works.


    JPM earnings beat and Dimon says housing turned the corner. New loan originations up big time.
    12 Oct 2012, 07:56 AM Reply Like
  • (CPST): "Capstone Secures 7.2MW Order to Power Mexican Government Facility"


    "... order for 39 diesel-fueled microturbines totaling 7.2 megawatts ..."


    "... includes 35 Capstone C200's and 4 C65 liquid fueled systems, which are expected to be installed in early 2013".


    NOTE: The C200 units are higher-margin than the rest of the product line.



    12 Oct 2012, 09:04 AM Reply Like
  • Did you know that originally your SS card was NOT to be used for identification?


    History Lesson on Your Social Security Card:

    12 Oct 2012, 02:29 PM Reply Like
  • Actually it said as much on the face of the card.
    12 Oct 2012, 02:35 PM Reply Like
  • In transit, on layover in NYC before going to Mumbai and finally Sri Lanka. Left house at 6am (today/Friday). Arrive in Colombo, Sri Lanka at 4:30 am Sunday, probably get to hotel around 6am to complete the two day trip.


    Won't be posting much here in the next few weeks, but hopefully will find time to post some on this blog I set up on Sri Lanka for those intersted
    12 Oct 2012, 03:39 PM Reply Like
  • Safe travels Jon!
    12 Oct 2012, 03:40 PM Reply Like
  • Good luck and God speed Jon. I look forward to your safe return. Have a great week end all!
    12 Oct 2012, 03:44 PM Reply Like
  • Thank you for the well wishes :-)
    12 Oct 2012, 03:48 PM Reply Like
  • Have a safe and great trip.
    12 Oct 2012, 04:18 PM Reply Like
  • A friend of mine stayed in one of the better hotels in Sri Lanka (or so the State Dept told him). He was surprised to see that most of one wing of the hotel had been blown up. He was in the other wing. I guess things have calmed down over there since the 1990s. I certainly hope so! Have a safe trip, Jon.
    13 Oct 2012, 12:13 AM Reply Like
  • Hi JS,
    Hope you have a safe and profitable trip.
    13 Oct 2012, 02:44 AM Reply Like
  • Thanks again for well wishes.


    On the ground.


    Hotel is fully intact (albeit rundown, but I knew that b/c I'm a cheapskate about spending money on someplace I turn out the lights).


    Tremendous comment K202.That's a story and a half (or minus a half?).
    13 Oct 2012, 10:03 PM Reply Like
  • Sounds like fun, Jon. I'm envious, but looking forward to your posts.


    Enjoy the tea.
    12 Oct 2012, 04:24 PM Reply Like
  • New $100 bills hiked! FBI reports that a "large amount" of newly minted $100 bills have been stolen here in my home town -- at the Philly airport. These new $100 bills are not supposed to be in circulation until 2013.



    What I don't get is that these new $100 bills were destined for...Huh?...nothern New Jersey?


    Great movie plot if these crooks get away with this.
    13 Oct 2012, 01:29 AM Reply Like
  • They'll probably turn up in Chicago! If the crooks are smart (not that likely) these bills won't turn up for several years and when they do it will be overseas in developing countries.


    One of my friends had an acquaintance who worked for the Treasury team that developed the new $100 bills. One of the team members forgot his briefcase one day and the guard let him back into the vault where the sample bills were stored by himself (against regs). He couldn't help himself and stuffed his briefcase full. This was so easy, he did it again a few more times until he had acquired nearly a cool million in cash. The idiot deposited the cash into bank accounts and brokerage accounts as soon as the first bills were issued. The feds noticed the large increases in his savings and began the investigation which resulted in his incarceration. Had the fool simply held the cash for a few years or until after he retired, nobody would have noticed. He got careless due to greed; the usual problem with most crooks.
    14 Oct 2012, 08:24 PM Reply Like
  • Oil drops on possible Iran deal:

    15 Oct 2012, 05:21 AM Reply Like
  • No surprise to Kyle Bass followers... conversation about central banks advocating the cancellation of government debt starts moving into the public domain


    Andy Murkherjee makes some interesting points in a rant-like article against the Bernanke, and his impact on emerging markets
    15 Oct 2012, 11:23 PM Reply Like
  • I can't believe no one has mentioned these two thing:


    1. Pandit abruptly leaving Citigroup and not even staying on the bd.


    2. Corporations threatening workers with jobs if the vote against their wishes.
    16 Oct 2012, 09:16 AM Reply Like
  • News story on Pandit.

    16 Oct 2012, 02:56 PM Reply Like
  • Corporations threatening workers with jobs if the vote against their wishes.


    Not a vote against their wishes....its a vote against capitalism and jobs.
    16 Oct 2012, 06:08 PM Reply Like
  • "2. Corporations threatening workers with jobs if the vote against their wishes. "


    Saw a headline which read that way but the story itself indicated employees could expect some job cutbacks if Obama is re-elected due to extension of his anti-business policies. That is, the employment threshold was tied to election outcome not how employees voted. They could all vote for Romney or the Green Party candidate or the Libertarian party candidate and still be dismissed in Obama wins.
    16 Oct 2012, 01:54 PM Reply Like
  • Should have looked down here before commenting. Sorry, but it got my attention right there on the spot.
    16 Oct 2012, 06:09 PM Reply Like
  • No problem.
    16 Oct 2012, 06:22 PM Reply Like
  • That's a great attitude guys...just wait until your boss tells YOU how to vote .... or else.


    Never before have I heard or seen in writing this type of threat, yet there is only silence or comments to justify it.
    16 Oct 2012, 06:26 PM Reply Like
  • LT... you have to understand, not everyone is truly in favor of democracy. Democracy is hard. It requires respecting people you don't like, and dealling with them winning sometimes. Post 9/11, from the far left to the far right, and among all between, most people don't have the patience for democracy. Hence, shouting, hyperbole, etc. Compromise, listening to opposing views, and middle grounds are dead. The whole country needs to see a shrink about its 9/11 post-traumatic stress disorder, but denies that its a problem. When a human is forced to watch the same thing repeatedly for 96 hours, we usually would suggest that it would cause some brain washing... a whole country participated in such an experiment 11 years ago, and hasn't been the same since. Although the results from one individual to the next vary, the sharpening of views to "I'm right, you're wrong" binary view of life has been widespread across all bands of political views.


    Don't mind me folks... just the ramblings of jet lagged insomnia.
    16 Oct 2012, 06:49 PM Reply Like
  • "Never before have I heard or seen in writing this type of threat,"


    It is certainly not new to me, LT, but I'm not sure I've heard or seen before now the "threat" in connection with a presidential race.
    16 Oct 2012, 07:00 PM Reply Like
  • "Democracy is hard. It requires respecting people you don't like, and dealling with them winning sometimes."


    No. That's a filtered democracy. Otherwise known as a republic. In a democracy, if the 51% doesn't like the 49%, then you hold a simple majority vote, and you can do to the 49% whatever you want. That's the point. If you don't like or respect them, then the mob can do horrible things to them.
    16 Oct 2012, 07:43 PM Reply Like
  • I read somewhere that there are over 5,000 new regulations pending the President's signature. He is holding off until after the election before lowering the boom. Nearly every new regulation coming out of DC will increase the cost of doing business for US corporations. The executives are merely letting workers know that they can vote however they want but it the cost of business goes up, as they expect to happen if the Prez is re-elected, then labor costs will need to be reduced to offset the increases wherever possible. In some cases, it will become unprofitable to keep a plant operating if the costs of doing so under new regulations becomes too onerous, thus the plant will be closed. That is just how they see it all unfolding. The workers can vote however they want. The management is just letting them know what should be expected if the government keeps going in the same direction. There are some companies ready to fire everyone (and some that already have) simply to avoid the costs of Obamacare. Of course, they'll allow former employees to come back as contractors. But that is one of the realities that so many people are missing. Millions will lose their company healthcare benefits if that law is allowed to go into full effect. And it won't help the million employed by McDonald's or any other major employer that primarily employs part-time workers because those companies have already been granted exemptions. People will lose healthcare that they won't be able to afford to replace and will then be charged a tax penalty by the federal government for not having coverage. And I'm not making this up.
    16 Oct 2012, 07:52 PM Reply Like
  • Ever heard of RavenPack?


    They are a company analyzing news as it happens and distributing actionalbe intelligence to trading algorithms in milliseconds


    Not sure how widespread the use of RavenPack is, but could see some news event really making a flashy crash with this kind of data analysis taking hold
    16 Oct 2012, 06:35 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks for your comment Jon, and re: RavenPack, there is no doubt in my mind a flash crash will happen on any type of news worthy event.
    I don't understand why it has not been dealt with. Other than it shows the true fragility of things since the melt down.


    I do see them doing less in the USA, and moving more to international mkt's. We will see how the internationals handle it.
    16 Oct 2012, 07:20 PM Reply Like
  • OK


    Who wins tonight debate....i am calling it a tie even before it airs..


    BO has to come out with all his ammo, even though he doesn't want the citizens to have any..


    We shall c...Funny but i think this will be the first time in History that a Christian isn't running for POTUS. Neither one has been baptized!!


    SCARY, becuase we might be getting baptized pretty soon with our fiat money..
    16 Oct 2012, 07:45 PM Reply Like
  • hehehe :)
    17 Oct 2012, 02:49 PM Reply Like
  • "We shall c...Funny but i think this will be the first time in History that a Christian isn't running for POTUS. Neither one has been baptized!!"


    :-) Reminds of a conversation with a college classmate ~5 decades back when he expressed belief that "Catholic" and "Christian" were synonymous and demonstrated shock and surprise to hear many people considered "Baptists" as "Christian."
    17 Oct 2012, 02:50 PM Reply Like
  • Wait a second. Mormons even baptize their dead. They do get baptized.


    Baptism of the dead link below.

    18 Oct 2012, 09:59 AM Reply Like
  • Mormons are a Christian sect.
    19 Oct 2012, 12:28 PM Reply Like
  • But do Mormons Baptize while they are alive?? Catholics believe in Baptism pretty quickly because of this reason...We want our children alive...
    19 Oct 2012, 12:47 PM Reply Like
  • Yes they baptize while alive, everyone, and the article above simply pointed out that they baptize anyone who is dead and may not have been baptized. Who has been bending your ear? Stop listening to them.
    22 Oct 2012, 12:53 PM Reply Like
  • DG



    I MAY STAND TO BE CORRECTED. but if you wish go to the article and look under the posting do aborted babies go to heaven..part 1..


    Is she wrong?
    22 Oct 2012, 01:44 PM Reply Like
  • Christianity is the believe in Christ as ones personal savior. The mormans believe that. This women is a Catholic and they once fought the protestants about the proper form of Christianity. I guess its the Mormans turn now. Consider the source, she is preaching to Catholics.


    The Catholics also do not like the Hebrew word Yahweh for God and have banned it (2008) from thier church.



    God himself told us that is his name.


    Isaiah 42:8
    "I am Yahweh, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, or My praise to idols. "


    I would caution anyone from believing that any church and it's dogma has all of the teachings correct. I reject that the Mormans are not Christians as this women claims simply based on the fact that her church does not even wish to use the lords name as he gave it to us. How can she dare to hold judgment of this kind. JMHO


    So you know, I am a Luthern, but not a very good one. I have a lot of repenting to do.


    This womens words on Protestants.


    "If you are Protestant, it is because Protestantism is intrinsically stupid and insipid."
    22 Oct 2012, 05:12 PM Reply Like
  • Gallop shows lower unemployment rate than gov't:

    17 Oct 2012, 02:11 PM Reply Like
  • Economy not deteriorating :
    17 Oct 2012, 02:13 PM Reply Like
  • French president pushing homework ban as part of ed reforms.


    Reason for the homework ban?
    Hollande doesn’t think it's fair that some kids get homework help from their parents while children who come from disadvantaged families don’t.


    Instead, Hollande wants to hire more teachers without saying where the money will come from (but you know the answer is tax hikes).


    He also wants to increase the length of the school week from four days to four-and-a-half days. Note that school days in France start at 8:30 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m.
    17 Oct 2012, 03:03 PM Reply Like
  • FPA: Someone here will probably suggest the same thing. Takes too much time away from game consoles, FB, ... too.


    17 Oct 2012, 03:13 PM Reply Like
  • Absolutely amazes me FPA the excuses Hollande makes for low educational achievements. My parents did not speak English and had a third grade education. They knew enough, however, to demand that education be my highest priority, and I don't think that homework damaged my educational prowess in my "disadvantaged" family. I would suggest to Mr. Hollande that the greater disadvantage a child may suffer comes from parents (rich or poor) who don't place a high value on education and homework.
    17 Oct 2012, 03:27 PM Reply Like
  • Hollande reads like a character in any Ayn Rand novel. The fact that he is all too real, in a real leadership role with real power in a real major country is frightening...


    Of course, we in our current glass house should be careful tossing stones...
    17 Oct 2012, 03:45 PM Reply Like
  • MJ, you had to earn your education and work the hard did I.
    I wonder sometimes when we sorta spoil our kids and make it so easy on them, that they just don't think they have to work at anything.


    They need a good dose of raising on a farm, you finish what you start, no matter how hot, tired and dirty you are or the work is you got to finish the row before even a drink of water and a break. So this to a kid today and they will have you in court.


    As TB just stated, it is scary that Holllande is in power and to even suggest this and his other policies.
    17 Oct 2012, 06:57 PM Reply Like
  • Mercy, your story sounds similar to my wife's. Her parents came to NY from Puerto Rico with high school educations, and struggled to get their children the best education they could with limited resources. My wife was the first in her family to go to college. She wound up being a Columbia University trained physician, because of the values instilled by hard working parents and her determination, hard work, and talents.


    America is still a place where folks can build better lives for their families without government largess, if they are determined to work hard toward success.
    17 Oct 2012, 09:32 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks for sharing your stories SMaturin and LT. I suspect there are many other readers here on the QC who could give Mr. Hollande a good word of advice regarding education -- homework -- and hard work.
    17 Oct 2012, 09:58 PM Reply Like
  • MJ, SM ... Your stories stimulate some memories.


    To my knowledge I was the first in my family to graduate college though both of my parents started college. I was literally stunned to discover that, except for me, my entire graduate school class was populated with first and second generation Americans (and 3 foreign students) from relatively prosperous families. My family was poor and had lived in the U.S. as long as there had been a U.S. Emphasis on education in the home was common among members of the class, though.
    17 Oct 2012, 11:01 PM Reply Like
  • My story is similar. My grandparents moved here from Germany near the turn of the last century. Neither of my parents got past 10th grade. The Great Depression required kids to work if they could just to make ends meet. My sister got a 2-yr associates degree as it was all that was required to become an RN back then. I was the first in the family to get a 4-yr degree and the first to get a graduate degree. School was not stressed in my home. If you got all Cs it was fine. My folks had planned for me to work in the family business. They knew I was smart enough but did not see the value of going to college. But I wanted to go. So I did. I made a real mess of it my first year because I didn't know how to study. Flunked out and got drafted. I came back from two tours in Vietnam a different person. For the first time in my life I could focus, set goals, and figure out what I needed to do to attain them. The experience I gained in the Army really matured me. Surviving what I went through taught me more than anything else I have experienced. I think that WWII must have done much the same to a lot of those who served and America was better off as a result. I don't like war. I hope we never have another one. But many of those who survive the experience can choose to gain from it. Unfortunately, not all gained as much from it as I did.
    17 Oct 2012, 11:29 PM Reply Like
  • K2 & all, thanks for sharing the stories. No matter how much we disagree on some things, it is amazing how most of us come from similar backgrounds and have shared similar experiences.


    When I read these posts, it gives me hope and proves that people can come together and work together.
    18 Oct 2012, 05:23 AM Reply Like
  • As I noted at ZH this is simply "weakening the strong not strenthening the weak." Its backasswards but it helps to manipulate the sheeple if they are kept stupid.


    Wonder if they will arrest parents that assign homework on thier own.
    18 Oct 2012, 10:16 AM Reply Like
  • Is Hollande trying to be Handicapper General Diana Moon Glampers in "Harrison Bergeron?"

    18 Oct 2012, 10:30 AM Reply Like
  • He is not planning for success. Thus he is planning for failure. His, his nation and their children. Whatever induced him to follow this mad children's crusade?
    19 Oct 2012, 12:35 PM Reply Like
  • Star Pharma--very enticing little Aussie biopharma penny stock


    VivaGel® BV Phase 3 trials - recruitment complete
    18 October 2012
    Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on linkedin Share on email Share on print More Sharing Services
    Melbourne, Australia: Starpharma Holdings Ltd (ASX:SPL;OTCQX: SPHRY) today announced completion of recruitment in its two Phase 3 trials investigating VivaGel® as a treatment for bacterial vaginosis (BV).
    The Phase 3 treatment trials were conducted across more than 30 international sites, and recruited 250 patients per trial. The results of the trials are expected to be available by early December 2012 - following the completion of patient follow-up, data collection and the necessary statistical analyses.
    These double-blind Phase 3 studies are the subject of a formal agreement with FDA under the Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) program, which confirms that the trial design, clinical endpoints and statistical analyses are acceptable for FDA approval once complete.
    Recruitment is also complete for Starpharma’s Phase 2 study for the prevention of BV recurrence. Completion of this trial is on track for Q4 2012 with results expected early in 2013.
    In the meantime, an active dialogue continues with a number of potential licensing partners as do activities to support an NDA and other regulatory submissions. The required manufacturing validation and scale up activities are also now complete.


    BV is the most common vaginal infection worldwide and is particularly prevalent in the US, where it affects an estimated one-third of the adult female population. Studies indicate as many as 50-60% of those women have recurrent episodes of BV and with no treatments currently approved for the prevention of recurrence of BV, that market is estimated to be in excess of $1 billion. In addition, existing treatments for BV are considered suboptimal with relatively low cure rates and high rates of recurrence, unpleasant side-effects, and high levels of bacterial resistance.
    VivaGel® is a non-antibiotic gel that is not absorbed into the bloodstream (as antibiotics are), and as such it is not associated with the problematic side effects of antibiotics. Clinical trials of VivaGel® show a high level of patient acceptability and research with clinicians and patients indicate significant unmet need in the management of this disease.


    Download ASX Announcement: VivaGel® BV Phase 3 trials - recruitment complete ( pdf file, 125kb)
    About Starpharma
    This document contains Forward Looking Statements
    For Further Information
    17 Oct 2012, 07:30 PM Reply Like
  • I just KNEW Candy Crowley would say something she shouldn't...Bad, bad move on her part!! Took all her credibility away. You need to moderate, kinda like a referee. Not a coach!!!


    But i think i called it right, it seemed like a tie. Both sides lying, strectching the truth, and ducking the questions..
    17 Oct 2012, 07:34 PM Reply Like
  • Found this article a little funny. Just wait until after the election when the Banks release the second half of all forclosed homes. Really don't think they all are on the market yet.imho..


    Just posturing for the Election ?



    Still looks like a nice buying opportunity for the metals.
    17 Oct 2012, 08:05 PM Reply Like
  • NOKIA...the NOK / Siemens venture has been a failure, but here is something that could be the savior. NOK also beat earnings this MSFT too....strong Lumia demand in Europe:


    Nokia Siemens Networks -- a joint venture of Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Siemens AG (NYSE: SI) -- and a consortium of R&D partners, have successfully demonstrated a capacity record using light to transmit information down commercially deployed multi-mode optical fiber. The demonstration achieved a 6-fold increase in optical data speed to 57.6 terabit per second (Tbps), compared to 9.6 Tbps speed available with today
    s commercial systems. The technique employed spatial multiplexing over solid-core multi-mode fiber. This capacity breakthrough has been recognized at the European Conference on Optical Communications (ECOC).
    With this record data rate we can transmit, over a single fiber, double the capacity required for 7 billion people " the world s population " to be connected over simultaneous phone calls, said Robert Richter, head of R&D optical networks at Nokia Siemens Networks. But this is only the beginning. By 2020, we will be able to support 100 times this capacity, which means that a single fiber would have enough capacity to deliver 40 million different TV streams " for example one for every household in Germany " simultaneously.
    In addition, the spatial multiplexing technology is expected to have a huge impact on the world economy for example when combined with hollow-core photonic band gap fibers. High-frequency trading firms, for example, which rely on fast data connections and today account for 73% of the entire US equity trading volume, are expected to benefit from the low latency of optical transmission.**
    The technical advance has been achieved by the ModeGap consortium, whose members include Nokia Siemens Networks, the University of Southampton and the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, among others***. The project was partially funded by the European Union under its seventh framework program. Under the scope of the project, components, fiber and digital signal processing concepts are being developed by the consortium for spatial multiplexing over photonic band gap fibers in the 1.55 and 2 micrometer region.
    Nokia Siemens Networks is our preferred partner in the industry, as the company provides a crucial vision of system requirements and technology roadmaps, said Prof. David J. Richardson from the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at Southampton University, which is renowned for its groundbreaking research in optical communication. It was the system know-how of the Nokia Siemens Networks research team that made the record possible. Our university is very much looking forward to continuing this fruitful cooperation.
    News Provided by Acquire Media Corporation
    18 Oct 2012, 06:49 AM Reply Like
  • More on NOK Lumia demand:


    Also, NVAX has good news last night.
    18 Oct 2012, 06:53 AM Reply Like
  • BB&T beats on earnings....OG mentioned it a while back:

    18 Oct 2012, 06:57 AM Reply Like
  • My order never got filled. I priced it too low. Now I'm on the fence. Are we going to get a big pullback or is it time to jump in and buy some BBT?
    18 Oct 2012, 12:14 PM Reply Like
  • I would let the dust settle after Google, but this is the pull back IMO,
    $30 now vs $33 shortly after you mentioned it ?


    P.S. Disclosure, I own it thru the preferred.
    18 Oct 2012, 01:03 PM Reply Like
  • Just FYI -- SA seems to be having hiccups today on "Tracking and Notifications." I keep getting orange box alert of 5 new comments and 1 new Inbox message -- but when I click on the notification nothing is displayed. And yesterday I accidentally came across a new message (in which someone was asking me a question) but I had never been notified of the new comment!
    18 Oct 2012, 08:06 AM Reply Like
  • Here we go !!!!




    Shares dropped 10% already and they reported early as well...Down 69 bucks...The correction is starting imo..
    18 Oct 2012, 01:00 PM Reply Like
  • If you were wondering what this winter will be like.....we aint been here before.

    18 Oct 2012, 01:03 PM Reply Like
  • I still trust the Farmer's Almanac more than these NOAA bozoes.


    As for the behavior of El Nino, they talk as if they have been monitoring this thing constantly for centuries, but the truth is that only over recent time have they been able to even pretend to track and model behavior - and their climate models, to put a point on it, are garbage.
    18 Oct 2012, 01:12 PM Reply Like
  • "climate models, to put a point on it, are garbage. "


    Some might say that was a charitable assessment of model skill there, TB.
    18 Oct 2012, 01:48 PM Reply Like
  • The earliest I remember "El Nino" being tracked was the 1980-83 period...we drought every other year here for about 4 years.
    18 Oct 2012, 03:21 PM Reply Like
    18 Oct 2012, 10:16 PM Reply Like
    Indicators of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) continue to show neutral values. Temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean generally remain near average, after being close to El Niño thresholds in late winter. Atmospheric indicators such as the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) and tropical cloud patterns have persisted at neutral levels through much of the southern winter and spring.
    24 Oct 2012, 10:15 PM Reply Like
  • Nice Site. Thanks.
    25 Oct 2012, 08:03 AM Reply Like
  • DG


    Read a report that due to the glaciers melting that our winter will be much wetter.....In upstate NY that means SNOW!!!!


    Another reason to do a little prepping as well.


    Googles drop has me very concerned though. Of course let the dust settle, but this isn't helping BO....Happy for that!!
    18 Oct 2012, 01:11 PM Reply Like
  • we have an Election coming up and with the Unemployment numbers blowing up today, then this ( google )...You KNOW the White House IS putting pressure on everything they can.


    Too bad BO cannot control financial results....Lets see if Mitt gets time on Monday to tackle this although it is suppose to be a foreign policy debate.


    Maybe under the category that our economy is FOREIGN to BO?
    18 Oct 2012, 01:45 PM Reply Like
  • Capitalism is foreign to him. Unfortunately marxism and taxes are not.
    18 Oct 2012, 02:58 PM Reply Like
  • Did anyone else catch Cramer telling people to buy GOOG a week or two ago because all the big money managers would be buying it up going into the close of the year?


    Love that guy... when he's wrong... he's wrong big.
    18 Oct 2012, 03:51 PM Reply Like
  • About the wrong part...


    So am I unfortunately. (tail tucked sheepishly said) But I am not paid to get it right. (Head high pounding chest)
    18 Oct 2012, 05:27 PM Reply Like
  • Would love to get a read from others re: your own equity portfolio strategies at the moment.


    In recent weeks I have been posting my actions on StockTalk i.e.: 1) trimming gains aggressively 2) clearing small losses to preserve capital 3) adding selectively to blue chips (especially big pharma) 4) holding long and/or adding to quality high yielders 5) averaging high cash position in equity allocation accounts and executing more short term trades than I normally do.


    Watching the meltdown in blue chip tech companies this quarter plus the top line AND bottom line misses from other blue chips like GE and BHI this am -- I am preparing for more downward pressure before the elections, but expect some upward move after the US elections (with either party) to be followed Nov 8 with China's 18th Party Congress new leaders taking over and potentially making their mark with more stimulus. And then the fiscal cliff EOY - could mute everyone's portfolio strategies. LOL


    Right now DJIA futures are dropping on a day with few data releases due. Your thoughts or POV?
    19 Oct 2012, 07:25 AM Reply Like
  • MJ, you and I have had this conversation frequently and my opinion has not changed...I expect a correction anytime between now and election or right after it. More severe if one party wins.
    I too am taking gains and holdings are below:
    long term:
    NextEra Energy preferred
    BBT preferred
    Several KY muni bonds


    short term trading:
    AXPW (by far my largest % & share count, the rest is pretty even%)
    MSFT (trimmed 2/3 of trading block yesterday before earnings)
    GERN (my big loser, but most if it is on house money after the run)


    If one party wins the election, I go to 50-75% cash and maybe before. I expect the fiscal cliff to enter the picture very soon. CEO's, Bankers, and others are all sending letters to congress now pushing them to act. I think they will, but not until after Dec. 31, They will let the Bush tax cuts expire then force compromise and votes on the rest. IMO.
    They could push the S&P to 1500 but I doubt it. If the election and the fiscal cliff are resolved, we will see one heck of a rally so it's very hard to short anything. If not, I want no part of the mkt for a while because I don't see a spring rally until that is resolved. IMO, the only reason the HFT's havn't already took the mkt down is they know the pol's will take them out if they crash it again.
    Last- I think the new norm is less jobs, corp revenue flat to lower, underemployed was to wages, more diversity away from China labor, and small increases in onshoring jobs here but at a snails pace. Slower GDP growth.
    19 Oct 2012, 08:17 AM Reply Like
  • MJ,


    When I get back from my trip I'm going to catch up on DVR'ed episodes of Revolution. I think I can learn a lot about what to do in a future post-apocalyptic economy from a show based on no one having elecricity for over a decade, yet still prancing around in spiffy new-looking made in China clothes.


    ... but seriously... I'm the same as I always am. Holding a heavy load of PMs which I view as cash. Speculative micro caps. Frontier market studying and investing. Agreeing with you on currency diversification, but still not sure what currencies. However, while I think raising cash now is prudent, I suspect the real downturn in the market isn't coming until March.
    19 Oct 2012, 08:30 AM Reply Like
  • Thx Jon. BTW -- I don't watch much TV -- but I am addicted to Revolution. Absolutely makes you think outside the box about our potential future scenarios! The recent Panetta warnings re: cyber attacks/terrorism makes the TV plot feel less far fetched.
    19 Oct 2012, 08:37 AM Reply Like
  • One other thing I noticed yesterday was there was 4-5 articles on "How to trade the crash & Post crash".


    Sometimes these prophecies are self fulfilling, as if the mkt. talks itself into making it happen. It would fit with my long term thoughts that have been discussed with MJ at length.
    19 Oct 2012, 08:56 AM Reply Like
  • remember that we are at the tail end of a calendar year withn over 40 countries having national elections... there's been a lot of "reason" to print money (i.e. inject stimulus) this year.
    19 Oct 2012, 09:05 AM Reply Like
  • Dear MJ: In my personal big picture for investing, I have several themes which are now affecting my investment direction.


    1. Fiat currency wars are here to stay, and the players will include just about everyone. The days when the West thought itself rich enough to "lift up" other economies for ideological or geopolitical reasons are dying. Any third world economies which missed the last few decades where this occurred are not going to be able to emulate their more successful cousins - and those betting on "emerging economies" would do well to acknowledge the new situation. Countries like China, India and Brazil have indeed joined the developed bloc, but their achievement is probably not going to be replicated by the legion of lesser nations stuck in low gear.


    2. Commodity suppliers (particularly the large countries with huge natural resources and small populations like Australia and Canada) which are already at the top of the heap will remain there so long as their resources hold out and they avoid completely destroying their productivity pursuing suicidal ideological fantasies. Some others like Greenland and Mongolia may join them, but local politics and geopolitical maneuvering by world powers will impact them. The bulk of developing nations are certain to view the stacked deck they confront with disfavor, and this is likely to lead to a cycle of nationalization of resources. Investors will be wise to steer clear of these threats, though it will require great agility and constant vigilance.


    3. Commodity trading and price discovery is about to undergo a revolution which will overthrow the long time primacy of the current leading exchanges. Futures are a particularly dangerous investment under these conditions. Even so, long term investments in commodities which back winners will hugely outperform other equity investments over time. Stock picking is the key, and where the risk is quantified.


    4. Historic and fundamental analysis always struggles to keep up with truly revolutionary periods such as marks the current investment environment. I have dismissed ETFs and the various classes of funds as just about useless investment vehicles. They are far too vulnerable to predation, and their returns cannot keep pace with the fiat currency wars which distort all results. I have found that timing markets CAN be done, in a general way, using a very macro vision, but that the utility of finely turned charting and short term analysis has been wrecked by all the other factors I have mentioned, with the destruction wrought by manipulators who control the system trumping conventional due diligence.


    As to the bullet points you raise:


    I totally agree with taking profits, I do this religiously as part of my steady trade/accumulate method...


    I believe profits can indeed be extracted from trading big pharma, but my long term view of that sector is that it will continue to be commoditized by governments everywhere, and that its free market access is so constrained that the eventual outcome is no longer in doubt...


    High yield is the portion of my portfolio (perhaps the only part) which has been my steadiest focus since I re-entered the markets around 7000 DOW. I believe you still have to be agile and pay attention, but there are good prospects here, and the yields are high enough to make even fairly scary overall market conditions tolerable for holding longer term to capture those dividends.


    Since the flash crash I have found myself trading more and more, pushed to my trade/accumulate method pretty much everywhere except high yielding equities. I am also invested in more different stocks than before, with larger baskets spreading risk.


    My tech investments are long gone, the only thing like a tech investment I currently hold is AXPW.


    I am uncertain whether China's new leadership will stimulate to grow their middle class and private investment area... I believe they have already taken a different tack, moving toward a more european model based upon government sponsored cartels built around huge central companies owned and operated by the government and/or the family oligarchies which rule the Communist Party. Constructing these giant cartels can be incredibly disruptive to world markets (the REE cartel and its pet exchange in Inner Mongolia is a case in point). This stage re-establishing tight central control might take years, and could be expanded to include virtually any market segment, with devastating results for those whose investments are caught leaning the wrong way...
    19 Oct 2012, 09:27 AM Reply Like
  • I left out two long term holds above...I may look for a exit point soon. I have owned both for a while and have good gains. Might switch them to WFC & BBT on any further sell off.


    KO ( I think it is flat for a while, with slight up bias)
    MDLZ ( I don't know how this split will work, this international snack play should have been the winner, but the mkt. has went with the KRFT play here in the USA for the dividend)
    19 Oct 2012, 09:28 AM Reply Like
  • Isn't this an interesting chart?



    It's the "max" chart on the S&P 500, in case it doesn't come up that way for you. Just look at that formation for a moment and tell me what you see.
    19 Oct 2012, 10:39 AM Reply Like
  • Thanks for all of those portfolio perspectives everyone.


    K202 very interesting chart indeed. Grow cash hoard??
    19 Oct 2012, 10:57 AM Reply Like
  • K202: Looks like S&P is approaching another peak, particularly on 5 year version... Assuming cycle holds once again, it has peaked twice and could be expected to reach another peak early in 2013...


    Or not. Politics and geopolitics control, just like the last 2 times.


    Another factor not reflected on the chart is the impact of fiat currency destruction. US$ dropped about 20% in value over that 5 year period. Indexed for this factor, the distance still to travel to equal an earlier peak is larger, and more extended (late 2013).
    19 Oct 2012, 11:47 AM Reply Like


    This is only my opnion doing my due diligence. I feel the small investors are out of this market and the volume shows it. To me the bar is so low yet a lot of companies aren't meeting expectations.


    Additionally a lot of companies are giving a somber outlook for future quarters. I am expecting a nice size correction. These Cheetah traders are in ans out so quickly that holding long term might not work right now..
    19 Oct 2012, 12:53 PM Reply Like
  • Been watching Revolution as well. Ever wonder how nicely washed and colored most actors hair are? Honestly. i would think greased up more would be a more realistic view of it.


    If you like this show then i highly recommend the book. ONE SECOND AFTER!!!


    The preimise is a EMP over the USA..Was even discussed by Congress what would happpen and what to do. I could not put the book down and i really don't read books that often. It's a must!
    22 Oct 2012, 01:50 PM Reply Like
  • LT


    Still being a newbie to investing on my own can you please briefly explain why do think we can have a positive market next year with all the guidance coming from companies that 2013 will not be a good one for their companies?


    I would appreciate it.Thanks..
    22 Oct 2012, 02:02 PM Reply Like
  • If you had asked the same question 3 years ago or even last spring, most here including me did not think we would have a great summer and fall either. But we are where we are.


    Earnings/revenue estimates always get to overly bullish at some point. With austerity in the world we are there.


    the one thing that could change things is the fiscal cliff. If it is solved look for a rally to follow. Also, there is nothing wrong with corporate profits, dividends appear safe, revenues flat to slightly down. It is uncertainty that is holding things back. Fear of losing their loopholes for everything. They really don't care who wins, just get it out of the way. They are positioned either way.
    22 Oct 2012, 02:51 PM Reply Like
  • Did y'all see this? From SA:
    Thursday, October 18, 8:57 AM Goldman Sachs revises a range of its views on the oil market, downgrading Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) to Sell from Neutral ahead of an expected end to the decade-long growth in oil prices. Goldman also cuts its crude price forecasts for 2013-14 while warning that the price OPEC members need to balance their budgets will rise to $100/bbl by 2015 from $90 now. *****************
    I never know what to believe from GS. I remember when oil was $147 and they said it was going to $200 while they took a massive short position and of course, that was very lucrative.
    19 Oct 2012, 01:46 PM Reply Like
  • Oy, Gee: Greetings. I tend to be skeptical of anything that comes from the vampire squid. In fact I start looking at contrarian plays on whatever they are spouting. They are a self serving lot and not likely to share anything of value without a price. In fact I suspect them of setting the small fry up for fleecing.
    19 Oct 2012, 02:00 PM Reply Like
  • They tell lies.
    19 Oct 2012, 03:12 PM Reply Like
  • OG


    This is just my opinion but when gas was going to hit 5 bucks a gallon in California a lot of vendors were refusing delivery due to lack of profit they could obtain. Not sure if this went viral would it cause the price to drop.


    Sure, drivers will be inconvenienced, but we should be able to build up an excess of oil, and every year goes by the cars will be more efficient. With a ton of people out of work many don't need to drive as much as well. Or i know people are being more efficient in their shopping. Trying to get everything they need at the same time.


    BO must be in a fetal position in some corner right now. MARKET down over 200 points...Most little guys gambling might be pulling out right about now !!!imo
    19 Oct 2012, 01:56 PM Reply Like
  • Well, GS is saying oil prices down and costs for OPEC going up. That doesn't preclude stalled prices due to lack of growth (but things could certainly look better by 2015--which is the year they are forecasting)
    or additional production and/or better cost efficiencies outside of OPEC.
    This is a forecast for crude, not gasoline, although I appreciate the stories regarding gasoline.
    19 Oct 2012, 02:22 PM Reply Like
  • Continued drilling in North America and elsewhere using fracking will continue to unlock oil resources that were not included as reserves just a few years ago. N.A. is not the only place where these formations exist. OPEC is likely in for some problems in the not-so-distant future, imo, as supplies of crude rise faster than demand due to new production and, as IT put it, continuing conservation efforts. Demand for OPEC oil, specifically, could wane in a few years as N.A. and other regions become more fuel efficient. I don't expect that the Saudis will be able to effectively regulate the price of oil in the later half of the decade. The entire energy complex is likely to go through another evolutionary cycle with downward pressure on oil prices and a leveling of prices (geographically) of natgas. Right now I think the better long-term investment would be in some of the more efficient pure natgas plays. Another way to play it is to buy some of the Canadian royalty trusts (or former rts) that have exposure on both sides. My third, and my favorite for its conservative profile, is XOM. The company has been systematically increasing its gas reserve holding for several years and I expect it to continue to pick up more reserves on the cheap as natgas companies like CKE are forced to give up and sell some prize assets to stay in business. XOM is well-positioned if gas prices go up, or if oil prices go up, or if either or both flatline for awhile. Just my two cents.
    19 Oct 2012, 02:40 PM Reply Like
  • K202
    Check out NBL, if you can stomach the middle east exposure. Awesome potential. I sold it at $105. A few days falling like today, and it'll be time to pick it up again.
    19 Oct 2012, 05:16 PM Reply Like
  • OG - Thanks! I'll check it out.
    19 Oct 2012, 05:57 PM Reply Like
  • :-) Another possible new "oil" source?

    19 Oct 2012, 09:18 PM Reply Like
  • D


    If this is true it is mind boggling!! A little apprehensive but hopeful..
    19 Oct 2012, 10:01 PM Reply Like
  • Just read something of an evaluation of the process that noted very energy intensive processes needed to convert CO2 and H into long hydrocarbon chains (fuels). Nuclear powered aircraft carriers have power generation capacity to supply that needed energy, but energy costs in other environments likely make the process uneconomic.


    In the Navy's case, the economics of implementing the process are enhanced by displacement of fuel tenders to some extent and the fuel savings associated therewith. Those tenders likely are diesel powered vessels with a backup diesel generator system idling 24-7.
    19 Oct 2012, 11:18 PM Reply Like
  • This is true of most alternatives to fossil fuels. The energy input side is so huge...


    Hydrogen (the holy grail of such altfuels) is customarily produced by a combination of huge amounts of the fossil fuel natural gas (or one of its fossil fuel cousins) plus massive quantities of electric power. From this you end up with the universe's most abundant but smallest atom, and immediately confront the problem of storing this expert escape artist long enough to use it for anything.


    Problems with the pure hydrogen turning most containers into highly brittle and unsafe trash drives us to the need to use exotic materials to build containers - and those rare elements are costly, supply constrained, and needed for a myriad of other high tech purposes. Then there's the dangers presented by pure hydrogen (flash to a scene of the Hindenberg disaster) - its escape artist ways - and the idea of planting one of these high risk reservoirs on every street corner to replace (at titanic expense) our current petroleum infrastructure...


    Sure, there are blue sky efforts ongoing (and they have been ongoing for at least 5 decades so far without success) to tap into the astoundingly abundant hydrogen which is literally everywhere we look (air, water, various oxides) on this planet...


    But until the solution is found, its just pop science speculation.


    Perhaps only a method of using a sizeable percentage of the planet's ocean surface as a breeding ground for gene tailored bacteria designed to produce petroleum makes any sort of economic sense among the current crop of altefforts...


    And there we quickly run into the danger of ecological devastation on an equally vast scale, even assuming the research is successful.


    Of course, one elegant side of this equation is that the megatons of bacteria would consume CO2 like mad, and produce oxygen as a waste product - a carbon balance between the later conversion of the petroleum back into CO2, burning oxygen along the way, might occur.
    20 Oct 2012, 07:53 AM Reply Like
  • OG


    In my opinion and due diligence i expect oil prices to drop, and have a feeling we may even see the day again when the oil companies will be trying to get our business again...


    I now this sounds like a stretch but am old enough to remember in NY offering free glasses for fill ups,etc....History does repeat...imo
    19 Oct 2012, 02:32 PM Reply Like
  • Int. Times--Then you agree with GS! If oil prices drop, that should help business and individuals, particularly gasoline and heating fuel prices.
    19 Oct 2012, 02:38 PM Reply Like
  • OG


    YES, if you put it that way! Lower prices means more driving which means more people out at least walking the malls and picking up some things they didn't intend on buying.


    But K202 is the camp i am in as well. We will be energy efficient sooner than we think as my years seem to go by too quickly as i


    Just was talking to my local Pizza place going to for over 20 years. When we both had different color hair, and i asked him if his costs are starting to squeeze him. He said yes AND soon he might have to raise his pizza price a buck. Now if fuel was lower just maybe his cost might subside somewhat as well. Just a thought!
    19 Oct 2012, 04:24 PM Reply Like
  • Wasn't today the anniversary of the '87 crash? Good day to sell some puts!
    19 Oct 2012, 03:42 PM Reply Like
  • CannonBall Oo Waa Oo Waa
    19 Oct 2012, 05:55 PM Reply Like
  • The search for intelligent life in the universe continues...


    All evidence to the contrary...
    19 Oct 2012, 07:27 PM Reply Like
  • The search for intelligent life inside the beltway also continues as more and more Americans have come to the conclusion that it is nothing more than an intellectual wasteland.
    19 Oct 2012, 11:22 PM Reply Like
  • THIS JUST IN! Brain eating zombies dying in droves in Washington D.C.
    22 Oct 2012, 10:40 AM Reply Like
  • I remember reading where a discussion broke out here about who and how much money was really in the market. Maybe this article will shed some light on that!



    Have a good weekend..
    19 Oct 2012, 05:55 PM Reply Like
  • Sunday morning rally!


    Just saw this incredible homemade video "Trip the Light .. Break the Night." In every single corner of the world -- ravaged by life's challenges -- dancing always manages to put on a smile. Enjoy and hat tip to Rialto for posting:
    21 Oct 2012, 10:00 AM Reply Like
  • Cowabunga geronimo!
    21 Oct 2012, 12:49 PM Reply Like
  • A while back IIRC OG commented on the sweet deals PE firms are getting from the GSE's for bulk package buys of foreclosed homes which they can then rent out in bulk.


    Here's some additional support for the point she made. An example in this article has one firm buying 94 single family homes: "Cogsville offered $11.8 million on the Chicago homes, putting $2 million down and agreeing to pay the rest over time by splitting rental income with Fannie Mae."


    17% down and a promise to split future rental income with the GSE. Yep sounds pretty sweet to me -- as US taxpayers now continue on the hook as partial landlords. And IF the economy gets worse and some of those renters default on their lease -- they may trigger protracted/expensive eviction processes.


    Wonder if the 699 homes in the Florida deal mentioned by the article will get dumped again in 3 years after the minimum rental period expires?
    22 Oct 2012, 08:00 AM Reply Like
  • I've mentioned one of the companies listed in that article, Mercy. Two Harbors Investment Corp (TWO). Look at this chart and dividend!;range=1y;compare=;ind...
    22 Oct 2012, 09:12 AM Reply Like
  • For those who like the dividend, Annaly (NLY) co-founder and co-CEO passed Michael Farrell away over the weekend. (hat tip to Ocean Man)
    22 Oct 2012, 09:34 AM Reply Like
  • Started to accumulate Triangle Petroleum (TPLM) this morning.


    Triangle Petroleum recently formed a U.S. pipeline joint venture with private equity firm First Reserve Corp to transport oil and gas in North Dakota and Montana. North Dakota became the second-largest oil-producing state in the country this year after output from the Bakken and Three Forks prospects surpassed Alaskan production.
    Output in Bakken shale spans North Dakota, Montana and Canada. It is expected to double to about 1.2 million barrels per day by 2015.


    Existing pipelines out of the Bakken are maxed out. They've been operating at capacity for the better part of five years. So much so, that the production of the entire region was limited by pipeline capacity until mid-2010 when rail shipping kicked in. Since then, rail shipments have been steadily climbing, as companies have scrambled to build new higher capacity terminals in order to move more crude.


    This is another aspect of my Bakken shale oil play.
    22 Oct 2012, 12:12 PM Reply Like
  • I still can't read the tea leaves well enough to be assured of election results. Voldemort has allot of regulations awaiting his successful bid for another term. I'll bet that killing new pipelines is at the top of the list.
    22 Oct 2012, 12:42 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks FPA! Added to my watch list and starting DD.


    22 Oct 2012, 12:47 PM Reply Like
  • "Triangle Petroleum (TPLM) Files $400M Mixed Shelf
    6:22 AM ET, 10/22/2012 - Street Insider
    Triangle Petroleum (NYSE: TPLM) filed a registration with the U.S. SEC to sell, from time to time, up to $400 million of Common Stock, Preferred Stock, Warrants, Debt Securities, Stock Purchase Contracts, or any combination thereof."


    With a current market cap of $307million, that's a potential doubling of OS, no? Do they need that $400M to build the pipeline?


    Predicted earnings next year of $0.60, according to my Schwab stats. Puts forward PE around 11.


    Definitely one to watch.
    22 Oct 2012, 01:01 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks for sharing, FPA. I've been watching this one for some time, but have been waiting for better entry which may be dreaming. Last quarter TPLM seems to have turned the corner on earnings misses:
    22 Oct 2012, 01:02 PM Reply Like
  • (TPLM) Form S-3 Registration Statement filed on 10/19/12:


    "We are authorized to issue up to 70,000,000 shares of common stock with a par value of $0.00001. As of October 8, 2012, we had 44,318,486 shares of outstanding common stock. If approved by our stockholders, we will also be authorized to issue up to 22,500,000 shares of preferred stock with a par value of $0.00001 per share."


    Page 10,
    22 Oct 2012, 01:51 PM Reply Like
  • Here is some more info on that Triangle Petroleum JV...


    Private-equity firm First Reserve Corp. has formed a new venture to build pipelines throughout the booming oil fields of North Dakota, an investment aimed at resolving transportation bottlenecks plaguing energy producers in the region.


    The $23 billion energy-focused firm has committed $150 million to a joint venture with Denver-based oil-and-gas producer Triangle Petroleum Corp. (TPLM) to launch a pipeline and transportation company focused on the Bakken Shale, an unconventional oil and gas play that has turned North Dakota into the second-largest energy producing state in the country, after Texas.


    The new company, Caliber Midstream Partners LP, will begin by constructing pipeline gathering systems with a capacity of 10,000 barrels of oil and 15 million cubic feet of natural gas per day by the middle of next year, connecting more than 100 far-flung oil and natural-gas well sites to rail terminals. The company plans to add additional pipelines that will link wells to major interstate pipelines that cut through the region.


    "There are hundreds of thousands of miles of pipe that need to be built. It's a massive opportunity," said Jon Samuels, Chief Executive of Triangle, which contributed $30 million as well as operational personnel, and will have a 50% voting stake in the new company. "You could have stable market share and still have 100% growth per year."


    Small producers as well as oil majors such as Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) have rushed to North Dakota to take advantage of the energy boom, creating thousands of new jobs in construction, trucking and other services in a sparsely-populated corner of the Midwest. But vast distances and a lack of infrastructure to move oil and gas have slowed progress in many promising areas.


    "The existing infrastructure is just trucks," said Mark Florian, managing director of First Reserve and head of the firm's $1.2 billion Energy Infrastructure Fund. "I was up in the Bakken with the team a month and a half ago.


    There are wheat fields as far as the eye can see, dotted with oil wells and nothing in between. There is nothing connecting any of it."


    Caliber isn't expecting any issues due to environmental permitting. Triangle, a small exploration and production company, is expecting to pump as much as 3,600 barrels a day by January. Currently, the company's wells can profitably pump oil with prices above $70 a barrel. When the new pipelines are in place, Mr. Samuels expects the company will break even as long as prices stay at $45 a barrel [Oh yes!!].


    There is a real need for the infrastructure development, and Triangle gets 50% ownership of the JV company [Caliber Midstream Partners LP] with an outlay of 30M while First Reserve Corp put up 150M for their 50%. That's because Triangle is providing the operational personal and experience.


    When I saw that an oil production company was entering into a build out of infrastructure deal, a light bulb went off. Cost of getting product to market will be lower if you have access to a pipeline that connects to a railhead or larger pipelines.


    Owing your own pipelines equates to lower costs to market. With their pipeline in place, their production breakeven point drops from $70 per barrel to $45 per barrel. That's about a one-third reduction (35.7%). On top of that, Triangle should be able to acquire property cheap because it's in the middle of no-where. Now Triangle builds out their pipeline infrastructure to encompass those properties. As a sweetener, any excess pipeline capacity they don't use for their own product they sell to other producers at a profit.


    So I figured the infrastructure deal signaled a growth opportunity, and that implied an offering would be forthcoming. Than along comes Dr. Maturin with his news of a 400M potential offering! That's more than the company’s current market cap! My eyes got real big on seeing that. I interpret that to mean that the company is planning substantial acquisitions. The properties they buy would likely have no pipeline access, but as soon as they are connected by Triangle's pipeline, their breakeven costs could drop by roughly a third. That would also provide a nice insurance policy in the event that the shale wells don't hold up as well as traditional wells.
    22 Oct 2012, 03:18 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks, FPA. It looks like a promising opportunity.


    Connect to railheads next year, then build out over time. It looks like a long-term play.
    22 Oct 2012, 04:08 PM Reply Like
  • Concerning alternative oil production (the best alternative I have seen so far, JMHO).


    The latest on Joules Unlimited.

    22 Oct 2012, 01:03 PM Reply Like
  • Another company trying to produce oil from air.

    22 Oct 2012, 01:04 PM Reply Like
  • DG,


    Recently there have been many greenwash articles about magically creating fuels out of air or water.


    Here is a more realistic perspective that expresses well what my concern about such ideas is. It takes more energy to make energy, and you can't evade the laws of thermodynamics and entropy. Multiple electrochemical conversions just to avoid petroleum is an inefficient use of energy.


    The Big Question Mark Over Gasoline from Air


    I find it hard to believe that such processes can be commercially sustainable without massive govt subsidy.
    23 Oct 2012, 08:30 AM Reply Like
  • I have hopes for Joule Unlimited but your absolutely right about getting something out of thin air for free or multiple energy conversions. I would see many of these pie in the sky processes being used by solar or wind to use excess energy to produce fuels when demand for energy is low but production is high.


    Joule does not have that problem, sunshine is free, bacteria work for free, they are processing concentrated exhaust CO2 and the fuel produced does not require refinery operations or requires very little.


    If you have not been to their site:


    "The company's Helioculture™ platform incorporates proprietary, engineered photosynthetic microorganisms to directly produce infrastructure-ready diesel, ethanol and multiple chemicals with no dependence on biomass feedstocks, agricultural land or fresh water. In parallel, Joule has developed a novel SolarConverter® system to enable the direct, continuous process with productivities that will be up to 100X greater than biomass-dependent methods, which require numerous energy-intensive steps and downstream processing to achieve an end product."


    "In contrast, using sunlight, non-potable water and waste CO2 from industrial emitters or pipelines, Joule ultimately targets productivities of up to 15,000 gallons of diesel and 25,000 gallons of ethanol per acre annually, at stable costs as low as $50/bble and $1.28/gallon respectively (without subsidies)."


    "This unprecedented combination of scale, cost efficiency and infrastructure readiness will allow Joule to leapfrog the incremental progress of biofuels and create an entirely new industry around sustainable, localized solar fuel production."
    23 Oct 2012, 09:38 AM Reply Like
  • Thanks, DG. I did take a quick look at Joule's site.


    From what I could gather, it appears they are trying to create biosynthetic fuels without govt subsidy, with only private venture capital. Calling it "solar fuel production" is equivalent to calling Christmas tree farms or logging for wood pellets for stoves "solar." Ultimately, the photosynthesis that created the precursors of fossil fuels was "solar fuel production." It is not in the same realm as using photoelectrically generated power, or solar-thermally-generated electricity, to do electrochemical conversions, which is the conventional meaning of "solar power." What they are creating is "algae farming," which has to compete with other forms of farming for water and land resources.


    I do hope they succeed, as I believe modern science may possibly improve on evolution in subtle ways, to harness photosynthesis efficiently to produce useful fuels. But evolution has a four billion year head start in figuring out how to harness the sun's output to do useful biological or mechanical work.


    The key remains being energy and resource efficient at a scale that matters, which is no small task. I forget where I saw it in recent months, but there was a video talk on the web about the scale of algae or solar panel farms necessary to replace the fossil fuels we use globally today. There is not enough usable land area in industrialized countries to do that effectively and still be able to feed the world with our current technologies.


    Using engineered algae to produce fuels is a neat idea, but I have my doubts that it can be scaled into a commercially viable process that will displace fossil fuels as cheap sources of energy in the foreseeable future.
    23 Oct 2012, 10:19 AM Reply Like
  • I see UPS missed and several of the regions in Spain were downgraded. General futures are down about 100 points and Oil has an 88 handle.


    It feels a bit ominous... I am thinking of setting some stops this morning..


    I just checked, the futures S&P [@1414] has broken below the 50 day MA and the lower Bollinger.
    23 Oct 2012, 08:01 AM Reply Like
  • Ugly opening today! Dow down 180 right off the bat!
    23 Oct 2012, 09:35 AM Reply Like
  • I see the S&P down to about 1340 over the next few days, then a bounce...


    This tracks well with the recent discussion, actually, and I still see the S&P setting a new high mid 2013 to late 2013, followed by a moderate correction 15% or so...
    23 Oct 2012, 11:41 AM Reply Like
  • New article by me on Mongolia


    Quickchatters may be most interested in company featured last in article, Mongolia Blue Wolf Holdings (MNGLU). Blank check company sitting on about $80 million it must invest by April next year or return to share holders. Potentially low risk-reward profile. Low liquidiy in shares traded. Would love to know your feedback on the idea as I have minimal knowledge of how such cases play out.
    23 Oct 2012, 09:50 AM Reply Like
  • This drop is what i have been expecting. Wonder what candidate gets an edge, if any if this drop continues?


    The metals are getting dragged down somewhat creating some nice buying opportunities. If silver gets close to 30 bucks i am a buyer again!!
    23 Oct 2012, 01:09 PM Reply Like
  • Unless the correction gets out of hand, which I don't think happens yet.....I see neither getting an advantage or disadvantage.


    I agree on silver....One main reason is that big banks, JPM & GS especially are under pressure to move trading out of the bank...they control some commodities.
    23 Oct 2012, 01:25 PM Reply Like
  • I have numerous bids on sterling silver products at Ebay right now. Would love to see silver drop to 30 for the time being. It would stop some of those bidding against me!! LOL
    23 Oct 2012, 02:31 PM Reply Like
  • Watch out with ebay. There's lots of fakes. You know the trick to use a magnet? If the item is drawn to the magnet it isn't silver.
    The coins are particularly suspect.
    23 Oct 2012, 08:41 PM Reply Like
  • Good suggestion, OG. The better fakes are made from non-ferrous metals like copper, however. Only way to tell is with a careful exam and a test kit for silver.


    Established dealers with top satisfaction scores and lots of sales are safer, and will stand behind their product...


    But are less likely to yield bargains.
    24 Oct 2012, 09:22 AM Reply Like
  • Does anyone think silver can break below $30 again in the short term??
    23 Oct 2012, 06:30 PM Reply Like
  • >Interesting Times ... As a matter of fact ... Yes. May not happen this week or next but look for $27.50-28.50 as reasonable.
    23 Oct 2012, 06:35 PM Reply Like