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  • QuickChat #250, December 8, 2012 294 comments
    Dec 8, 2012 9:42 AM

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  • :-) One of the best things about this blog is anticipation of the art introducing each QC. Always interesting and impressive.
    8 Dec 2012, 10:15 AM Reply Like
  • Thank you. Its called "Original American". This one is a miniature (sketch is just 2" high by 4" long), though most of my miniatures are even smaller (3.4" x 2" is the avg. size). Pen and ink sketch with colored pencil, in this case. The sketch was done offhand with no reference as a demonstration for a group of youngsters attending the Orange Beach Fine Arts Festival.
    8 Dec 2012, 10:29 AM Reply Like
  • Should read "3/4" instead of 3.4...
    8 Dec 2012, 11:24 AM Reply Like
  • Well i know who i would like to stick that spear into...


    Nice Pic though..Good work!!
    8 Dec 2012, 11:03 AM Reply Like
  • Kyle Bass' November 2012 letter:


    (have to use the arrows around the page box to scroll... a bit of a pain but a good letter)


    FPA: you may want to hijack the Current Account Balance chart on page 12 for your Euro blog
    8 Dec 2012, 01:48 PM Reply Like
  • That's neat... I will try to read that this weekend in between work sessions. Thanks Jon.
    8 Dec 2012, 04:50 PM Reply Like
  • TheStreet . com has an open-house free weekend this weekend (but they want your e-mail address to let you in). Here's the link to the gateway




    (I found this out via Linked In)


    (put on multiple lines because it wouldn't go on one and tinyurl will not make a tinyurl for it either; combine all the lines into one piece of text to use it)
    8 Dec 2012, 02:27 PM Reply Like
  • Sunday, December 9, 2:17 AM China's urban jobless rate edges up from 8% in August 2011 to 8.05% in June this year, reaching almost double the official rate of 4.1%. Unemployment among the 160M migrant workers, who aren't counted in the official stats, jumps to 6% from 3.4%. The high rate helps explain the government's reluctance to overhaul state companies, which could initially cost 4M jobs, says China expert Minxin Pei.


    So China maybe isn't out of the woods yet!!
    9 Dec 2012, 07:36 AM Reply Like
  • I'll also post this on the Political QC, but I think it has economic implications as well. We all know about the attitude of some in America, but this video describes perfectly where we are and where we are headed as a nation (IMHO):



    Kudos to my son (a college student) for bringing it to my attention.
    9 Dec 2012, 09:30 AM Reply Like
  • Personally i am annoyed!!!


    NOW you can smoke pot on your lunchbreak and not get fired??


    Boy, where was that law in the 70's....Can you imagine the guy who smokes on lunch and has to go back to the deli or bakery to finish his day.


    If that was me they would be losing money!!.
    12 Dec 2012, 05:58 AM Reply Like
  • (DXPE), company making parts needed for fracking.
    9 Dec 2012, 01:22 PM Reply Like
  • Tuscaloosa Marine Shale
    9 Dec 2012, 01:24 PM Reply Like
  • Sunday, December 9, 8:42 PM Japan's Q3 GDP shrinks at an annualized pace of 3.5%, worse than a forecast of -3.3%. With the government revising Q2 from growth to slight contraction, it puts the country technically in a recession. The current account surplus slides to ¥376.9B in October, a bit better result than the expected ¥218B, but off 25% from a year ago.


    JAPAN now officially in a recession!!
    10 Dec 2012, 05:10 AM Reply Like
  • How does everyone else feel about SA's new ads? Have you noticed?


    1) More pop-up's


    2) Ads in articles with sound (I now have to keep my speaker on mute to make sure I don't accidentally click on an article and wake up my sleeping 4 month old inadvertently with an ad while he's taking a nap (already has happened))
    10 Dec 2012, 11:30 AM Reply Like
  • I have popups disabled and always run with no sound, so I have not noticed. I think the better way to increase advertising readership is to increase the quality of the content, not increase popups. The next thing they will probably do is to play video advertisements if your cursor just goes over the advertisement...


    Has anyone come to a conclusion on whether the new "pro" articles are of a higher quality, whatever that is?
    10 Dec 2012, 11:46 AM Reply Like
  • I'm with FPA on this. I,too, disable popups and usually deactivate sound. And regarding the SA "Pro" offering -- I have absolutely no intention of subscribing. I do have paid subscriptions to specialized publications which cater to my sector/geographical interests -- but SA articles on "Pro" are likely not going to meet my expectations for a good return on my subscription investment.
    10 Dec 2012, 12:15 PM Reply Like
  • There are also more ads showing up in rollover situations I've noticed. I have some coming up when I rollover things in "my feed" as well as when writing an article.


    I need to figure out how to block pop-ups on my ding-dong cheap-o computer for travel (purchased a cheapie after having my computer stolen back in February)




    Pro articles listed here (after embargo):


    Not sure who the Pro articles are a "fit" for. It is early stages and I understand the goal, though I'm not sure SA will achieve their goal the way they have set out to:


    I have critiqued what they're doing as much as anyone, but SA (with Pro) is admirably trying to raise the profile of medium, small, and micro cap stocks, by finding a way to monetize them better, and get more eyeballs to them. It may not be the best way to diversify content and heighten content quality, but it is an effort to do both, and I think we should be glad for the effort; and try to coddle them toward improving toward meeting their intent.


    I think, again, despite my and your criticisms, that SA is trying to find ways to raise the quality. I've worked with the staff both on micro cap situations and now on international articles, to find a middle ground we can meet in. To wit, they also put out a notice in May that they were trying to curtail the number of articles about Apple and weed these articles for quality. It is not a finished process, but it is an iterative process and a start.


    Fort those without access to the contributor center, the thread on Apple (which now has 284 comments and almost 10,000 page views) began:


    Dear Contributors,


    Starting Friday, May 11, contributors will be allowed to publish a maximum of 3 AAPL primary ticker articles over a rolling 30-day period, subject, of course, to editorial approval (more on that below).


    A bit of background: In April, we published 175 Apple articles - not all of them outstanding - which has resulted in the insightful being drowned out by the mediocre. While some of our Apple content is fantastic, some articles do little more than rehash stale arguments, and add little to the discussion.


    So we took a close look at user article rankings. And we found that by-and-large, the highest-ranked Apple articles came from contributors who wrote a small number of insightful pieces, while “serial” publishers consistently ranked among the lowest. Perhaps taking time between articles to process new information leads to more substantive and original discussions on Apple.


    The sweet spot between insightful and overkill seemed to be 3 articles per month, so that’s what we decided.


    Now about quality: Editors will be tightening up standards for Apple articles to ensure readers and Apple real-time alert subscribers receive only the best articles. So please think carefully before composing and submitting; just because a certain type of article has made it through in the past doesn’t mean it will continue to be published. What we’re looking for are contributors who truly understand Apple; have something original and convincing to say about it; and who have the ability to express those thoughts in an entertaining, compelling, and balanced fashion.


    We appreciate your cooperation, and hope you’ll agree that sacrificing quantity for quality is a decision that will ultimately result in a better end product.




    Link to contributor center thread (where, yes, authors have suggested this process be applied to all companies):
    10 Dec 2012, 12:42 PM Reply Like
  • Jon,


    If you run the Chrome browser, the Adblock extension is amazingly effective at blocking ads, and can be customized for each site you visit regularly by right-clicking any ad and choosing how to block it. Use the slider control to block the whole frame for ads. Chrome also is good at blocking/managing popups. I have been oblivious to the ads until recently.


    I also ran an ad blocker on my jailbroken iPad 1 which did a good job of blocking the ads in Mobile Safari and other browsers. When I upgraded to a new iPad 4 last week, for which there is no jailbreak yet, I was astounded to be seeing so many annoying ads again on the SA site.
    10 Dec 2012, 01:02 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks SMaturin... am on both Chrome (ding-dong computer) and Safari (my dyslexic Apple (the mouse works backwards and I haven't fixed it - up is down, right is left, etc.))
    10 Dec 2012, 01:06 PM Reply Like
  • There is also an adblock extension for Safari on a Mac that works fairly well.


    I still use Safari on my Apple laptop at times at home, but tend to do most of my SA reading on either the Windoze machine at work or my iPad. The new iPad 4 is wicked fast in mobile Safari, compared to my ancient iPad 1, even with the ads loading.
    10 Dec 2012, 01:15 PM Reply Like
  • I assume the comments on the Pro articles will also be put into private access after the 30 days. I wonder how they will get around the copyright question on comments. Does SA membership involve a transfer of copyrights on peoples comments to SA? Or will Pro articles have comments stripped when they go private?
    10 Dec 2012, 02:18 PM Reply Like
  • I don't know FPA, but that 30 day cap on general access is what is keeping quite a few authors away from submitting articles to Pro. There were quite a few authors who squawked that they want their readers to be able to always access their work (not to mention the comment thread) once published.


    The 30 day cap on access also creates the issue of follow-up articles where you hyper-link to the 1st article which the general audience cannot access. On the other hand, I guess one could recycle the same article every 6 months or so if no one has access to the old version.


    As far as I can tell (without having studied stock price movements of related securities), the 1 to 3 day embargo does not seem to be significant yet for most Pro articles. I looked at a handful, and I don't see "this-just-in, breaking news" data that will impact markets.


    However, I do see enhanced coverage for smaller companies, and for subscribers maybe it is a way to weed through all the daily output of Seeking Alpha to find the articles that are most useful to them.
    10 Dec 2012, 06:07 PM Reply Like
  • Please welcome Eric, QuickChat's newest follower. "Eric is the Director of Ad Operations for Seeking Alpha."


    We're a frisky group Eric, but we are also Seeking Alpha addicts; and we're glad you're here.


    10 Dec 2012, 08:36 PM Reply Like
  • Welcome Eric.
    10 Dec 2012, 10:43 PM Reply Like
  • FPA


    Tuesday, December 11, 4:32 PM Molycorp (MCP) says CEO Mark Smith has resigned; no explanation is offered. Board vice chairman Constantine Karayannopoulos is named interim president and chief executive. Shares -6.3% AH.


    I know you have knowledge of others here do, and i read LYNAS might lose their license AS WELL!!


    So anyone have an opinion as to how we play the REE'S..
    12 Dec 2012, 06:12 AM Reply Like
  • Today the WSJ says Smith was fired. That suggests bad tidings are in store for MCP... Lynas answered the question about the waste materials in a recent announcement. I liked their answer so I established a small new entry position.
    12 Dec 2012, 10:15 AM Reply Like
  • I like MCP waaaayyy better without Mark Smith than with him. Mr. Karayannopoulos has actual operating and financial experience within the industry. If you agree, the cv notes are the way I am playing Molycorp. (Just wrote an article about them on SA today.)
    12 Dec 2012, 04:31 PM Reply Like
  • You know I agree with you, Joseph. I'll look up the article in my Feed.
    12 Dec 2012, 04:42 PM Reply Like
  • SM and JS,
    I upgraded to Win8 when it first came out and have had no problems with ads. Win8 comes with the new version of IE and I have been impressed.
    10 Dec 2012, 01:19 PM Reply Like
  • Having just used Adblock to wipe out all the ads on Seeking Alpha, I have a different question that's more QC appropriate.


    Where is advertising going? How do things unfold? Where is the investable idea or company?


    As I see it...
    - they're coming up with ways to block out ads on television (such as DVR and skipping through)
    - they're coming up with ways to block on ads on the internet
    - we can register on a do not call list against telemarketing


    So... what then? How does advertising and marketing reconfigure in a way that technology doesn't rise up rapidly to snuff it out in this environment? or does advertising become people with fake bios planting information in social media? or what?
    10 Dec 2012, 01:24 PM Reply Like
  • I doubt the advertisers are in any real danger. The technology evolves, but so do they.


    The great majority of users will never install any adblocker software, and will watch the preview commercials on their DVD's, instead of skipping over them, and get to the theater early to watch the previews along with all the local business ads, and will choose to use YouTube or Pandora with all of the ads, simply because it is "free" to them and they do not value their time watching ads over the cost of blocking or avoiding them.


    "Free" software on mobile devices has embedded ads that you cannot turn off or block easily like HTML-based browser ads. Most people are not willing to pay for premium ad-free delivery of content that is otherwise free. How do you block or turn off billboards, magazine and newspaper ads, radio and network TV ads, etc? Most of it is still reaching the target audience very efficiently.


    The businesses that are suffering and failing to adapt well to the new internet age are the print media, not the advertisers.
    10 Dec 2012, 02:44 PM Reply Like
  • JS,
    It seems to be a constant battle between the advertisers and the consumer. The real winners will be the software companies on both sides of the equation.
    10 Dec 2012, 02:01 PM Reply Like
  • And ad free services like SiriusXM.
    10 Dec 2012, 02:10 PM Reply Like
  • Midas Newsletter


    Page 9 of the newsletter has a report on BNK Petroleum (BNKPF.PK), a nat gas play in Europe Joe Shaefer had looked at a while bank. It has declined quite a bit since, and maybe is worth another look. With Germany & France determined to get off of or reduce their nuclear energy usage, they have to get their energy from somewhere.


    (hope the links works... I'm not even sure how I got subscribed to Midas and don't pay for it)
    10 Dec 2012, 08:39 PM Reply Like
  • John, I imagine it's down primarily because of the disappointment experienced when XOM pulled out of its explorations in Poland; estimates of the total amount of recoverable gas have been dropping steadily. That's not to say someone -- BNK? -- won't find an elephant there, but the elephant might be a toy the size of a needle. (In a haystack...)
    11 Dec 2012, 04:14 PM Reply Like
  • Global Trends 2030 by the National Intelligence Council


    This Global Trends Report comes out every 4 years shortly after elections. It is supposed to from the non-partisan Atlantic Council to help policy makers envision the future. (current Chairman is former Senator Chuck Hagel, past chairmen listed here


    (on Kindle)


    (report came out Monday)
    11 Dec 2012, 02:17 PM Reply Like
  • Anyone having an interest in REITs -- may want to take a look at this good write-up -- in case you missed it:
    11 Dec 2012, 03:47 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks MJ.


    The 2 companies on that list with the highest yields fall, unfortunately, in categories where I would not presently put long term money.


    Health care and senior housing are both key components vulnerable to the effects (some will say "unintended effects") of the coming Obamacare tsunami. Its interesting that they WERE the highest dividend payers in the group by a healthy (no pun intended) margin, so I would consider them particularly susceptible to problems digesting the new national health emphasis.


    Other REIT categories, however, which stand to benefit from de-emphasizing senior subsidies might be worth further study, however. Companies focused on providing services favored by a fabian socialist United States seeking to avoid the large bills coming due for the Boomers might stand to continue growing their dividends...
    11 Dec 2012, 04:57 PM Reply Like
  • Emerging Market Debt article I just published.


    What the yield?
    11 Dec 2012, 07:25 PM Reply Like
  • SA's Market Currents section is hiring for a full-time position. Anyone interested should contact Market Currents editor Jason Aycock


    Full job description in contributor center
    11 Dec 2012, 08:49 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting... AAPL has executed a death cross.
    11 Dec 2012, 10:22 PM Reply Like
  • Maybe end of the world for AAPL? Should head to copan.
    11 Dec 2012, 10:32 PM Reply Like
  • Michigan is just the start of this process. The republicans know they need to do something drastic!!


    UNION busting is gonna get dirty and dangerous...Hoffa just dug himself up at the Meadowlands in NJ !!!


    Right at the goal line in fact!


    Stocks soon will have to reflect this ..imo
    12 Dec 2012, 05:53 AM Reply Like
  • Tuesday, December 11, 1:03 PM As the Fed ponders new bond buys, the Treasury sells $32B in three-year notes at 0.327%, a new record low auction yield. Bid-to-cover ratio of 3.36, vs. a recent average of 3.71; indirect bidders take 21.9%, vs. a recent 30.1%. Direct bidders take 24.8%, vs. a recent 16.7%.


    Now maybe i don't understand this correctly, but could this actually be a bad sign that no Country wants to risk their Capital anymore??
    12 Dec 2012, 06:01 AM Reply Like
  • Wednesday, December 12, 5:31 AM Eurozone industrial output -1.4% M/M in October vs -2.3% in September but badly misses consensus of -0.2%. Consumer non-durables +1.2%, although all other categories, such as capital goods (-3%) and consumer durables (-3.8%), decline. Germany -2.6%, France -0.6%, Italy -1.1% but Spain +1.2%. (PR)


    Things aren't looking so bright over there. I assume this has to affect our stock market soon?
    12 Dec 2012, 06:32 AM Reply Like
  • The Baltic Dry Index which is considered to be one of the best concurrent indicators of global shipping and trade posted an 8.2% overnight drop. That is the biggest drop since 2008.
    12 Dec 2012, 10:25 AM Reply Like
  • Excellent insight here on outlook for precious metals.


    First link relates to why gold miner share prices are so depressed. Cost of production per oz. keeps rising and they keep missing their production volume guidance. “They’ve all relied on the gold price to bail them out, which actually is a very bad way to manage a business.”


    Second link is an interview with Eric Sprott (see time frames 3:52-14:00 and then 16:30- 20:30. He provides terrific perspective on the impact of Central Bank leasing of gold which helps keep a ceiling on gold prices. He also points out a factoid I had not focused on: investors are buying more silver than gold with a ratio of about 50:1. But -- physical silver available for investing vs. available gold has a ratio of about 7:1. Doesn't take a great deal of imagination to see where this kind of demand/ supply relationship may lead silver prices. Sprott expects Silver to Outshine Gold during this decade:


    Long $SLW and $SAND
    12 Dec 2012, 11:00 AM Reply Like
  • Mercy, I was not familiar with the concept of gold leasing, and its ramifications. So your comment started me looking around for an explanation... thank you...


    Here is a link that wised me up:
    Can you say Re-hypothecation... Re-hypothecation occurs when a bank re-uses collateral owned by someone else to back the banks own trades and borrowings.


    Looking into this, by 2007, re-hypothecation had grown so large that it accounted for half of the activity of the shadow banking system. Prior to Lehman Brothers collapse, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) calculated that U.S. banks were receiving $4 trillion worth of funding by re-hypothecation, much of which was sourced from the UK. With assets being re-hypothecated many times over (known as “churn”), the original collateral being used may have been as little as $1 trillion – a quarter of the financial footprint created through re-hypothecation. A leverage factor of 4.


    Why sourced from the UK? In the US, there are limits on how much you can re-hypothecate. But in the UK, there is no statutory limit on the amount that can be re-hypothecated.


    Silly me, I thought these fools had learned their lesson about re-hypothecation from Lehman. Greed knows no limits.
    12 Dec 2012, 11:45 AM Reply Like
  • >FPA ... " ... thought these fools had learned their lesson ..." Not while every CB is willing to underwrite with sovereign bonds it and the banks can offset it. Why else did you think the swaps market has grown to $760T and banks live in fear of taking that 3-6% loss they know is out there? The world has run out of assets to borrow against and this synthetic is the way to create credit. The other alternative is default and we just can't live with rich people becoming poor.
    12 Dec 2012, 11:55 AM Reply Like


    I posted on a different article the same info about the cost going up, and imo will continue. That is why i feel owning physical is better.


    Also stay away from those ETF'S as FPA just learned that RE-HYP word...Comingling....I learned a lot of new words these last 2 years..


    It is like a game without any rules, just when i thought they had a ton of regulations...


    I follow Sprott and Mike Maloney religously and although they are metal bugs most of what they say makes sense.

  is Maloneys site. You might want to take a look at it..


    Wanna have your jaw drop watch this ...


    It is a 90 minute seminar that i have posted in the past, and it gives you a ton of information. Not like an infomercial where at the end they want money for their info...well worth the time. He talks about where we were, where we are, and where he thinks we will be investing wise...Check it out!!! It does get technical...
    12 Dec 2012, 12:11 PM Reply Like
  • Wait until they open those vaults , i would love to be a fly on the wall when that happens...
    12 Dec 2012, 12:14 PM Reply Like
  • FPA,
    Think MF Global, an early reminder that the financial troubles aren't over. BTW, where is Jon Corzine?
    12 Dec 2012, 12:29 PM Reply Like
  • >Interesting Times ... I suggest you do more than learn the word ... Re-hypothecation because it is the game right now. You might think "they had a ton of regulations..." but you would be wrong. This "Word" is why Glass-Steagall was done away with, Subprime Loans were so needed, CDO's & CDS's just keep growing, MF Global failed, Greece-Spain-Itally are failing, QEternity is needed and on and on. It's all about credit creation instead of following the Capitalist model of failure & redistribution. This is what late stage Capitalism looks like. Gold won't save you but it might be a good time to be a self-sufficient farmer.
    12 Dec 2012, 12:43 PM Reply Like
  • I think he was playing Santa at the mall.....oops...
    12 Dec 2012, 12:44 PM Reply Like


    Got farms all around me...My metals will suffice...You a farmer??
    Then i guess the markets aren't going to be worth anything either?
    12 Dec 2012, 02:21 PM Reply Like
  • " BTW, where is Jon Corzine? "


    NOT in jail.
    12 Dec 2012, 06:35 PM Reply Like
  • Not where he is supposed to be in other words.
    12 Dec 2012, 06:43 PM Reply Like
  • >D-inv ... Best I can figure out, Jon Corzine broke the law as it existed 10+ years ago but not today. I think we de-regulated banks into using your money for their speculation.
    12 Dec 2012, 06:49 PM Reply Like
  • Well said DRich
    12 Dec 2012, 07:00 PM Reply Like
  • >Jon Springer ... I think Corzine's big mistake, under current law, was trusting Jamie Dimon to follow through on his agreement while he knew Corzine couldn't survive any other way. If I recall JPM made something in the 100's of millions in profit just 5 days later.


    Water under the bridge. We have the banking system people want and seem, noisy laments aside, to want it more lax. I can hardly wait for the Money Market Funds to go belly up with all that cash on the sidelines and right into GS, JPM, Barkleys, DB et al. Bet people will think that is illegal too if is actually allowed to happen as it seems be coming on down the pike.
    12 Dec 2012, 08:06 PM Reply Like
  • I have wondered how they will keep the losses to a minimum on bonds and money mkt. funds.....the only reason that and the mkt hasn't had a 20% correction is IMO the watchdogs are a bit to close and I think Wall St. knows without a doubt there is no second chances political will, public will. For now it would be suicide and they know it.
    With that said, it will happen. Watching money flow and the fed's money supply is my two key indicators. I just don't know how/when to short it.
    12 Dec 2012, 09:48 PM Reply Like
  • LT


    You actually believe shorting it will work..I think its the end game to our financial system if that ever happens...You will have all sellers and no bids....Who in their right mind would trust the system then...I sure would not!!


    Like DRICH said, we are better off being farmers and i firmly believe that this can happen, not sure it will, but it can !! I hope i am wrong, but the gun shop lines make me believe i am right...Gander Mountain where i live literally now has a number to take like a bakery...I kid you not, and they say people are buying guns for civil unrest!!!
    13 Dec 2012, 12:25 AM Reply Like
  • DG


    I think he has some KNOWLEDGE that he is using to stay out of jail. He knows something that we are not suppose to hear. So they just let him disappear under watch..imo.


    A potential whistle blower for sure!!
    13 Dec 2012, 06:50 AM Reply Like
  • Its time to hear his whistle. This is a sham of our justice system with him walking around free and not answering to possible crimes. Lets get a grand jury started and find out who dances to the whistle or how long his sentence is .


    I think somehow the BO administration and specifically Eric Holder is keeping this from happening. Of course those they protect might be from...nah most probably are from both crooked houses R&D. The elite protecting the elite.
    13 Dec 2012, 07:35 AM Reply Like
  • My take on this topic has always been (at least, dating without interruption from the Bush/Clinton administration, though the Bush, and now the Obama) that the quantity of regulation was not a fail point, but the quality certainly was. Multiple layers of Federal law, regulation and bureaucracy is devoted to the topic, but 20+ years of governance by both parties has jointly created a condition where something even worse than de-regulation has occurred...


    What we see is a particularly nasty and dangerous condition patently resulting from past and existing Federal law and regulation. In fact, it could not exist without this compliant legal shield carefully crafted to yield this precise result.


    We are seeing the end game of this process, as the boundless abuse of Federal power at all levels has steadily pushed past prior constraints dating from the ancient roots of common contract law.


    I truly wish our problems could be solved by simply jacking up the regulators and trotting in some new bodies, or passing a few more regulations by executive fiat, or even for Congress to quit pursuing fiscal cliff moonbeams and actually doing their jobs...


    But we missed that opportunity during the last elections, and the miss occurred at a fundamental level long before the primaries were concluded, much less the actual election. Now we get precisely what we chose during the political process, and those who lost during the process will just have to "...wait until next election..."


    Funny, I don't REMEMBER becoming a Cubs fan all of a sudden...
    13 Dec 2012, 09:33 AM Reply Like
  • Well said TB.
    13 Dec 2012, 10:07 AM Reply Like
  • TB,


    The Leviathan is immortal and insatiable.



    edit: aaargh! SA link funkiness. It is the wikipedia entry about Hobbes book, /Leviathan_(book)
    13 Dec 2012, 10:25 AM Reply Like
  • If anyone hasn't seen the movie TOO BIG TO FAIL on HBO should..It was presented well, it is a year old but on DIRECT TV you can search for it and it will tell you when it is on again.


    If someone wants me to search for them just PM me...
    12 Dec 2012, 12:16 PM Reply Like
  • Wednesday, December 12, 10:14 AM Wal-Mart (WMT -2.3%) bulls may have a buying opportunity as the stock slides following CEO Mike Duke saying 75% of the store's shoppers are aware of the fiscal cliff, up from 25% who knew about it before the election. Of the crowd who knows about it, 15% say it will affect their holiday spending.


    I found this quote interesting !!!!


    Mercy....BTW Mike Maloneys site usually has all of Sprotts articles down the side, i look at it daily as well...
    12 Dec 2012, 12:25 PM Reply Like
  • The "like" button. I notice people don't use it much in articles (see comments "liked" more often in blogs. Wondering if the button changing to "added value" would make a difference in the community as in "this comment added value to the discussion".
    12 Dec 2012, 09:38 PM Reply Like
  • If i like an article i hit the like button,,,plus i also see others doing the same. Maybe it's less than a blog , but i don't see a need to change it.


    Good articles get a ton of comments and likes..
    13 Dec 2012, 09:37 AM Reply Like
  • The fact that articles and their authors are compensated by SA may have something to do with the difference, Jon. If anything the new Pro system will make the difference larger, since people who pay handsomely for information are less likely to hand out accolades than those who recieve it as a true gift.
    13 Dec 2012, 09:38 AM Reply Like
  • A 'gift' is a fine way to think of it, TB. I had a discussion with the editors who invited me to join the 'Pro' contributors and decided against it for now. It would be nice to derive that kind of income, but it feels, initially anyway, like a violation of the Everyman geist that SA has so thoughtfully engendered. I hope those who subscribe to Pro articles find exceptional value for the additional expense. I wonder, though, if it won't be like load and no-load funds. Personally, I find everything I want in no-loads without encumbering my clients with load fees...
    13 Dec 2012, 10:18 AM Reply Like
  • Let's hope this latest government tracking does not become an excuse for abuse. From the Wall Street Journal:


    "A controversial proposal to create a government dragnet, sweeping up millions of records about U.S. citizens, was signed into effect earlier this year after much debate. The rules allow the National Counterterrorism Center to examine the government files of U.S. citizens for possible criminal behavior, even if there is no reason to suspect them.


    Through Freedom of Information Act requests and interviews with officials at numerous agencies, The Wall Street Journal has reconstructed the clash over the counterterrorism program within the administration of President Obama. The debate was a confrontation between some who viewed it as a matter of efficiency--how long to keep data, for instance, or where it should be stored--and others who saw it as granting authority for unprecedented government surveillance of U.S. citizens."
    12 Dec 2012, 11:20 PM Reply Like
  • Like with airport security, my question comes down to this:


    Do I feel safer?


    Answer: No.


    Follow on question:


    Then why is money and resources being wasted in this way?


    (answers garbled)
    13 Dec 2012, 07:09 AM Reply Like
  • Mercy, I see this as an attempt by the govt to protect itself from the populace not the populace from an outside threat. That explains the entire reason for the need for such an agency and the expenditure that serves the govt not the people, but whose money did they use to do it.


    So much for the 4th amendment. Do not forget this was bi-partisan. This is the shadow govt protecting itself. Many of the politicians have no clue since they do not even read the bills. They simply try to explain why they voted for them or deny the bill imposes on our rights or blow it off as a need to protect us from terrorists.


    I fear the terrorists we will soon need protected from is our own govt wearing jackass and dumbo buttons.
    13 Dec 2012, 07:53 AM Reply Like
  • DG


    Can you explain to me why the NYC Police dept have sent a ton of men to train with the military..?? Have people i know who have family that are going..
    13 Dec 2012, 08:09 AM Reply Like
  • Politicians are going to do what they want to do, by force if necessary, (shadow govt actually), and the elected officials and cops are just pawns in this game.


    Cops I know have said they intend to go home to protect their families if SHTF because they know they will become a target.....from nearly everyone and knocking on doors asking for folks guns will be a quick trip to the morgue. Shadow govt wants cops to feel like they can knock on doors safely I guess so they send them to training.
    13 Dec 2012, 08:37 AM Reply Like
  • An old campaign speech from the First Obama election needs to be a footnote for this discussion...


    The one where he promised a particularly leftist crowd that they had nothing to worry from the American military, since he planned to create a seperate armed group which would be larger and stronger than the military... Soon after this slip he became welded to a teleprompter, btw.


    Presumably that shadowy organization will need a good database to protect us from our own Army, right?
    13 Dec 2012, 09:41 AM Reply Like
  • "A controversial proposal to create a government dragnet, sweeping up millions of records about U.S. citizens, was signed into effect earlier this year after much debate. The rules allow the National Counterterrorism Center to examine the government files of U.S. citizens for possible criminal behavior, even if there is no reason to suspect them."


    * * * * * *
    "A week later, the attorney general signed the changes into effect."


    So by administrative fiat the Obama administration has decided whomever it chooses to focus on is guilty until proven innocent.
    13 Dec 2012, 10:40 AM Reply Like
  • That right will belong to any president from any party going forward. That's the bigger problem.
    13 Dec 2012, 10:55 AM Reply Like
  • Jon, Since we essentially have two partys, thats a lose/lose situation. Not good.
    13 Dec 2012, 12:27 PM Reply Like
  • Thursday, December 13, 3:50 AM Barclays ( is reportedly planning to cut up to 2,000 out of 23,000 positions at its investment bank as part of a company wide overhaul that could see the firm reduce jobs at other divisions as well. Barclays would follow peers such as UBS and Citigroup if it does downsize its investment bank.


    But unemplyment has to hit 6.5% to stop QE'S from happening. I have a different outlook how we will hit that percentage. Enough people will leave the workforce, well be in a Depression, and then the govt, will just back off.


    I really don't see the job growth necessary to drop unemployment with employment that low within a couple of yeasrs.imo
    13 Dec 2012, 06:44 AM Reply Like
  • and no one seen the crash coming, or the recovery afterward, or record corp profits during recession, but it happened.


    Your way too negative.


    In '08-09, I said it takes 10 years to recover..we are half way there.
    13 Dec 2012, 06:51 AM Reply Like
  • No, i am a realist..Record profits cost millions their jobs..Companies cut down to the bare bone, unemployment now at 7.7% ...seriously??


    I think you are way too positive, the whole world financial system is a ponzi scheme...But that is why America allows everyone their own opinion..


    Were half way to a collapse..and Ben is choosing to not be around as well. He helped kick the can down the road long enough..He is basically done juggling..


    Wait until the second half of foreclosed homes hit the market...Silver was up 2% yesterday aftter the announcement as well. Yes their is another round of foreclosed homes to deal with and i have first hand knowledge on this..


    Love this country that allows free thinking so far ,,
    13 Dec 2012, 07:27 AM Reply Like
  • silver down $1 this morning, gold down $24 below $1700 again, both nearing breaking support.


    The mkt. will absorb the second half of foreclosed homes, just like it has the first half....except this half is much easier.
    13 Dec 2012, 07:45 AM Reply Like
  • You really think that? How about all those new people leaving the job force, or those 350k weekly getting laid off..Maybe they might foreclose as well if the market gets saturated.


    As far as i can tell the banks are still pretty tight lending out money..Hiring is still non existant for the younger generation who usually are the ones who buy the first home, not the older people flipping ftom one empty house to create another empty house..


    Daily moves is just noise , learned that a long time ago. The metals are manipulated. BEN needs them to be lower or the game ends sooner..I am done on this topic...
    13 Dec 2012, 07:53 AM Reply Like
  • How much of the home buying is being done by foreigners and investors. If the people are not buying the homes the sales figure is just speculators pushing whats left of a collapsed bubble around in an attempt to re-inflate it.


    Until the home price to income ratio returns to normal this is simply pumping air into a bubble with a hole in it. Looks good for a brief moment but soon leaks out.


    Baby boomers selling to scale down will add to the pain. Maybe we can convince the Chinese to cash in all their US Treasury bonds and buy a lot more houses. That would make the bubble look spectacular.....for a while.


    Too much debt, no jobs, slack pay, govt spending out of control, bonds in a bubble, no interest on savings, to much regulation, out of control spending in Wash and our states, manipulated figures,manipulated money and then there is the rest of the world. Our problems are still here, its the lump under the rug that keeps getting bigger.
    13 Dec 2012, 09:16 AM Reply Like
  • Foreigners have purchased much of Florida and California distress real estate.....especially Miami area.
    13 Dec 2012, 10:52 AM Reply Like
  • Wait till they go for the farm land. Pucker factor way up then.
    13 Dec 2012, 12:29 PM Reply Like
  • foreigners are not buying farmland, corporations, hedge funds & private equity are...They already own several hundred million dollars worth and adding to it gradually every year....that's even worse.
    13 Dec 2012, 04:47 PM Reply Like
  • Bill Gross from PIMCO was quoted in TIME magazine stating the markets are rigged, told his clients not to expect anything better than 2% return, He is in a few companies but mostly in cash right now.


    He learned the hard way, and now he knows what is really going on. Mentioned figures manipulated and delayed, or updated a month later when basically no one pays attention..


    Like Ben said no inflation? Sure take out food and energy, the two most important items we need to live on and with and you massage a number until the sheeple will like it..


    I guess i am done on this topic, it will go nowhere...


    But when PIMCO CEO-CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER is quoted as saying "This is the first generation that's seriously at risk of doing less well than their parents " concerns me..Mohamed El-Erian


    Article titled Why stocks are dead and bonds are deader!!!
    13 Dec 2012, 07:36 AM Reply Like
  • I am wondering if we've lost OptionsGirl again...


    Wouldn't be surprised based on current postings. Another QC regular just PM'ed me they are likely abandoning ship as well.


    Note to self and others: back to investing talk with investing ideas.
    13 Dec 2012, 09:26 AM Reply Like
  • >Jon Springer ... To that end I've been having a very hard time of it in recent months. I can imagine out 2-3 years for a good investment thesis or 2-3 hours for a trade. All other timeframes seem to be trendless or in whipsaw mode. Makes me a little timid to make a recommendation, though I appreciate it when I stumble across ones here but most are out of my field. I've been most successful over the years on 2 week to 2 months and it just isn't working as well now.
    13 Dec 2012, 09:43 AM Reply Like
  • This has been a trend since 2009, DR. I see this as a predicatble result of the dominance of HFT quantmonkies driving the bulk of the daily volume. So long as they are 60-70% of the market, even trades set up for short to medium term timeframes are sketchy, and long term holdings are pure gambling.
    13 Dec 2012, 09:49 AM Reply Like
  • >tripleblack ... So true. I've reverted to almost strictly technical trading with a 1 to 2 week timeframe. It has been good enough to pay the rent so I'm good with it but don't like it. I guess I could expand my horizons into things like biotechs & market MoMo if I could just hold my nose and purely bet on things I don't understand the metrics for.


    One stock that has fit the bill is Discover Financial (DFS). Good for a week at a time ... mostly. Tight stops.
    13 Dec 2012, 09:55 AM Reply Like
  • A mounting dispute between Washington and Beijing over access to records of Chinese companies with U.S.-traded shares might force major corporate names such as oil giant PetroChina and search engine Baidu to withdraw from American stock exchanges.


    The SEC has accused Chinese affiliates of five major accounting firms of impeding fraud investigations of nine companies by failing to hand over documents. Separately, an American panel that oversees accounting wants to inspect Chinese auditors of U.S.-traded companies.


    Beijing has resisted expanding access to corporate records as a violation of its sovereignty. Without a compromise, China-based accountants might be stripped of authorization to prepare financial reports required by U.S. regulators, and that would make it impossible to trade Chinese shares in the United States.


    No changes are required immediately. A ruling on the SEC's Dec. 4 complaint is not due until next year. That allows time for negotiation and, if no settlement is reached, for companies to buy back their shares or move to Hong Kong or another non-U.S. exchange. Still, the wholesale departure of Chinese companies from American stock markets would be a setback to closer financial ties between the world's two biggest economies.


    "We may soon see the market-wide delisting of all Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges," warned an American investment newsletter, The Motley Fool, last week.


    Other governments including the 27-nation European Union also have resisted U.S. pressure for more access to corporate records but most reached compromises that satisfied Washington. That often involves joint audits by American and local regulators.


    Why the fuss?
    A series of accounting scandals at Chinese companies has battered share prices in the United States, costing investors several billion dollars. The SEC wants to see "work papers," or corporate documents used by auditors to prepare financial reports for nine Chinese companies suspected of fraud. Its complaint said Chinese affiliates of the "Big Four" accounting firms — Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers — and a fifth firm, BDO, failed to comply with orders to hand over the documents.


    The accountants say Chinese national secrets laws bar the release of documents, but the SEC said firms "face serious consequences" if they conduct audits knowing they cannot comply with U.S. disclosure requirements.


    [I assume the SEC is referring to the parent firms of the Chinese affiliates. If Chinese firms want to trade on an American exchange regulated by the SEC, they have to follow the rules. If they don’t, they can trade on another exchange.]
    13 Dec 2012, 12:16 PM Reply Like
  • I have been expecting this for over 3 years. I first looked into this when Bush was still in office...


    My only surprise is that it took this long.
    13 Dec 2012, 03:36 PM Reply Like
  • Some how I keep thinking glass houses and stones. I agree with thier comments but how about cleaning up things here too. How much money did Madoff steal from investors. Stanford, Corzine, Madoff are just at the top of the list. There is sooooo much more but off we go to China, Corzine runs free!!!


    Feels like a left hand fake to keep us from observing the right hand the magician is fooling us with. Be careful something might be in the smoke and mirrors. Is Corzines statute of limitations coming up per chance?
    13 Dec 2012, 12:42 PM Reply Like
  • John Polomny has published his "stock of the year for 2013



    His pick for last year (MAUXF.PK) went up about 100%


    His pick the year before that was (CALVF.PK) which has been a flat-line frustration


    He used to run a subscription newsletter but gave that up and only publishes on SA at this time. In the newsletter (to which I subscribed) he kept a running tally of his performance from the time he wrote about buying a stock until the time he wrote about the sale.
    13 Dec 2012, 04:32 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks, Jon. is interesting Q & A mentioning more than one possible opportunity worth dew dilly.
    13 Dec 2012, 05:49 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks Jon. Cortex looks very interesting. Just wish it had more volume liquidity on the TSX.
    13 Dec 2012, 07:13 PM Reply Like


    These figures are just mind boggling!!
    13 Dec 2012, 04:49 PM Reply Like
  • Friday, December 14, 7:40 AM Describing his decision to again dissent from the FOMC decision, the Richmond Fed's Jeff Lacker paints a picture of a man with views 180 degrees different than his fellow board members. "A single indicator cannot provide a complete picture of labor market conditions," he says, wondering how a group of learned men and women can derive major policy decisions from the headline unemployment rate. Lacker is out as a voter on Jan. 1.


    Sad, as this is the only guy making sense imho..
    14 Dec 2012, 08:21 AM Reply Like
  • Sunday, December 16, 3:43 AM A preliminary review by Michigan has found that Detroit has a "serious financial problem," with reporting problems causing cash-flow projections to significantly oscillate on a monthly basis. The review could lead to the declaration of a fiscal emergency and prompt the appointment of an emergency financial manager. A municipal filing for bankruptcy protection, the biggest in U.S. history, could ultimately ensue. (previous)


    Here we go folks, hold onto your hats!!!
    16 Dec 2012, 06:03 AM Reply Like
  • Shinzo Abe is in power in Japan now


    Escalating money printing bonanza to follow...
    17 Dec 2012, 01:21 AM Reply Like
  • Yes. China has a decision to make, probably over the next year at the most...


    Do they decide that they have sucked in enough Japanese proprietory tech for now, and allow the yen to revert to something more realistic?


    I believe it will be a decision which INCLUDES economic considerations but where those numbers are secondary to the overall strategic goals. We might therefore see less yen degradation than would otherwise be logical, and watch China's new masters play a game that has long range geopolitical goals rather than a tight focus upon simple currency reserve math.


    Much depends upon just how determined the Japanese money printing becomes, and whether the Japanese liberals can compute what will happen when those holding their currency exchange rates down abruptly let loose of the reins...


    If they are not careful, they could find themselves striving to reach 100/$ rates and abruptly "succeeding" far beyond those numbers...


    Short term I suspect the impact of BOJ intervention will be muted, right up until it switches to something MUCH more threatening and thoroughly out of their control, but perhaps not until some key piece of Japanese technology is transferred to China by a desperate zaibatsu.
    17 Dec 2012, 08:17 AM Reply Like


    Finally the media might be waking up?


    Big banks are getting exposed !!..


    How will this effect stocks?
    17 Dec 2012, 08:59 AM Reply Like
  • I got my paper work regarding the class action against Citti Group (C). It must be filled out, documented and returned by FEB, 17, 2013.
    17 Dec 2012, 05:05 PM Reply Like
  • Look, i fully understand that this is a chatroom ..


    But i just want to say we should all just say a prayer for those families in Conn, and for our country as it seems this is becoming like an epidemic.


    Hold your kids tight, and tell them how much they mean to you.!!


    My 2 cents..just a break from investing and chatting!! I have a daughter with a Teaching Degree,,,so it hit home for me....
    17 Dec 2012, 09:32 AM Reply Like
  • Podcast interview with Harris Kupperman, CEO of Mongolia Growth Group (MNGGF.PK) by Ian Cassel ( on MicroCapClub:


    Smart & funny.
    17 Dec 2012, 10:10 AM Reply Like
  • Quadruple Witching occurs on this Friday Dec 21.
    17 Dec 2012, 01:23 PM Reply Like
  • LOL, and then we have the wild equation involving tax sales before EOY...


    One theory goes that with much higher taxes against the investment class next year, the need for accumulated tax losses (to be taken in 2013) is stronger than ever...


    But then there's the truism that those who have made strong earnings this year need the tax writeoffs THIS year, and can change plans to address whatever occurs in the future...


    I think we see BOTH groups doing BOTH things, with some strong tax selling of downtrodden sectors and stocks this year, and MORE selling next year as well.


    Add in the investors who will be moving away from taxable assets (those IRS cattle prods will make Wall Street sound like the back yard bbq of mosquito zappers from hell) next year, and the impact on small-medium sized businesses facing draconian choices under Obamacare...


    2013 could be nasty, starting about...


    17 Dec 2012, 01:44 PM Reply Like
  • I have seen a couple of indications that articles about income generation (usually with equities, ETFs, or CEFs) are starting to get a lot more hits and audience on SA. Not sure if there's a link/relationship between SA and a new website (is there a Yahoo Income?). Or, is this an investing trend as people are trying to figure out where to hide when equities seem over-valued and bonds don't pay diddly?


    If it is a trend, and I think it is, I'm worried...
    17 Dec 2012, 03:08 PM Reply Like
  • Income generation is of paramount importance to many as they are looking at retirement and realizing they could be in some difficulty. With fixed income instruments paying sub 1 rates, dividend and capital gains facing higher taxation and all sorts of paper presenting out sized risks how are these folks to preserve their income streams. There is in fact a Yahoo finance page but it's not a forum like this one.
    17 Dec 2012, 05:11 PM Reply Like
  • 5:59 AM Flush with huge amounts of cash, companies repurchased $274B more shares than they issued in the first nine months of the year, says Yardeni Research. The buybacks reflect the lack of confidence in the economy as companies forgo capex and hiring, while they are also distorting EPS trends. One question is how much the repurchases have contributed to the rise in stocks this year.
    Comment! [U.S. Economy]
    18 Dec 2012, 06:17 AM Reply Like
  • So... companies will buy back shares when confident the economy is going to get worse and the share price will go lower?


    Did they do any analysis of which companies bought back their stock and the track record of management (i.e. were they doing stock buy-backs in the summer of '08?)?
    18 Dec 2012, 08:29 AM Reply Like
  • I am very cynical about stock buybacks. During traditional market activity (something which I frankly never expect to see again) I always viewed it as a sign of weakness - lack of confidence - or even just a way of temporarily jacking up share prices to hit some arbitrary goal or option bonanza. Now I am even MORE cynical than in the past...


    I would think that we are seeing stranded funds on multinat balance sheets...


    I call them "stranded" because there may be barriers to the companies following past practice, which was to invest the extra profits in growing the company's international footprint (particularly in concert with shrinking its domestic footprint in America). Many companies have taken huge PR hits from pursuing this strategy in recent years, and are now gun shy. Some elect to issue special dividends or increase long standing dividend programs slightly to absorb part of this cash, but most either don't pay dividends as policy, or would rather use the funds "strategically" to support their share price.


    The other factor is, of course, political. The MSM has been issuing regular announcements detailing the mountains of cash corporations are accumulating. The obvious inference to draw from this spotlight attention is that they will be prime targets for politicians to come raiding with new and inventive taxes. By removing the cash from the books, they remove the temptation...


    What's particularly sad is that the one thing which is NOT happening is that the companies are being encouraged (or even coerced) into pursuing growth strategies in the United States.
    18 Dec 2012, 10:04 AM Reply Like
  • Jon & TB, I posted all these to show two things....first is that corps tend to blow cash which belongs to shareholders on buybacks to manipulate earnings...and I agree with everything TB posted so I won't repeat it...but especially the tax can bet that corp taxes and welfare is next, and it will be globally. Not just here. So there won't be a safe place to stash it or one that won't tax it.


    Second...companies just can't run a good up & up business. Just look at what we have been thru and they still want business as usual. I think at some point, an example is made of a big corp that will send the mkt. reeling. It could even put them out of business.
    18 Dec 2012, 10:11 AM Reply Like
  • 3:46 AM "Wal-Mart de Mexico (WMT) was an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering large payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited." says the NYT in another in-depth investigation into the company. "It used bribes to subvert democratic governance — public votes, open debates, transparent procedures. It used bribes to circumvent regulatory safeguards that protect Mexican citizens from unsafe construction." [Top Stories, Consumer] Comment!
    18 Dec 2012, 06:18 AM Reply Like
  • 4:50 AM Amgen (AMGN) is due to plead guilty today in an investigation into its business practices, the U.S attorney's office says, with the NYT reporting that the company will admit to mis-branding, which usually means promoting drugs for non-approved uses. Amgen will pay a fine close to the $780M it has set aside to cover the allegations, of which $150M will be a criminal penalty. [Healthcare] Comment!
    18 Dec 2012, 06:19 AM Reply Like
  • 4:30 AM Under-pressure Deutsche Bank (DB) co-CEO Jürgen Fitschen attracts further heat after he calls a senior politician to complain about a police raid on the bank's HQ last week. Political leaders accuse Fitschen of trying to influence a probe into the bank for the possible fraudulent trading of carbon emissions. Fitschen is one of 25 bank staff under investigation for tax evasion, money laundering and attempted obstruction of justice. [Financials] Comment!
    18 Dec 2012, 06:19 AM Reply Like
  • Does he know Jon, Corzine?
    18 Dec 2012, 10:00 AM Reply Like
  • Gold and Silver are dropping, with similar steep down-spikes, right now...


    Various factors are being cited by various pundits and analists to explain this, from "technical reasons" to strong "PM Bears shorting to reach large numbers of stops located near key support" to the usual political pablum from the Demicans and Republicrats about the so-called Fiscal Cliff and a mysterious "Plan B" muttering from a delusional Boner.


    Truth is that this bears watching, and may present a buying opp if it persists.


    I still see Silver as a buy at $28 (or just under) and Gold at $1500.
    18 Dec 2012, 12:06 PM Reply Like
  • Silver Bulls have been active on SA lately


    Avi Gilburt:
    Stephen Orlowski:
    18 Dec 2012, 01:02 PM Reply Like
  • My guess is silver does not break below 30 bucks....If it does it won't last long as the Physical buyers will jump in!!


    Or, the markets are getting ready for a correction...imo
    18 Dec 2012, 12:17 PM Reply Like
  • Tuesday, December 18, 11:51 AM Long-term Treasury yields accelerate their move to the upside in the days following the Fed's open-ended promise to spend $45B/month keeping a lid on them. The 10-year yield is 20 basis points higher in December to 1.80%. TLT -0.7% today and now lower YTD


    Maybe the reason commodities are getting hit. Ben does not want higher interest rates!!
    18 Dec 2012, 12:54 PM Reply Like
  • Brilliant essay by Pater Tenebrarum on the MIT Central Bank Cabal story in WSJ last week:



    "The reality is though that they are snake-oil sellers. All they have done was to repackage the same hoary inflationism that has been practiced for centuries to no avail in fancy new wrappings (for example with euphemisms such as 'quantitative easing' for what is nothing but plain old-fashioned money printing). If anything, they are witch doctors rather than scientists. As we have mentioned before, sometime in the 1930s economics took a decisively wrong turn and we suffer the results to this day. It is as though astronomers were to recant everything from Galileo onward, threw their radio telescopes overboard and began to focus on astrology. At least that is how it appears to us – if it is not magical thinking that informs these decision makers, then what is it?"


    WSJ article:

    18 Dec 2012, 02:32 PM Reply Like
  • As I said they fancy themselves as masters of the universe. Sooner or later the universe will bitch slap them for being presumptuous. I wonder if the universe is quietly laughing at them behind their backs as it prepares to throw a round house.
    18 Dec 2012, 02:38 PM Reply Like
  • rbf; The problem I see is that we, as small investors, get "bitch slapped" right along with them! They lose face and we lose our ass-ets.
    18 Dec 2012, 03:29 PM Reply Like
  • silliconhillbilly: Greetings. True true. Keep your powder dry and your stash of cash in PM.
    18 Dec 2012, 03:32 PM Reply Like
  • Just a reminder of how far back this goes.

    18 Dec 2012, 04:22 PM Reply Like
  • Someone explain this:


    3:06 PM There are no bad securities, just bad prices. An affiliate of Blackstone (BX) and Lew Ranieri were among those who paid cents on the dollar at an FHA auction of 9.5K nonperforming mortgages this month. In need of cash and to get the paper off of its books, the FHA is prepping the sale of another 40K loans in 2013. 1 Comment [Financials, U.S. Economy]
    18 Dec 2012, 03:25 PM Reply Like
  • From the "Any port in a storm department.".
    18 Dec 2012, 03:33 PM Reply Like
  • This is not surprising and was predictable.


    These large financial entities have to pay off their markers somehow...


    The quid pro quo list must be astounding, though I suspect it will never see the light of day.
    18 Dec 2012, 03:45 PM Reply Like
  • Wall St. really likes the leaks on the fiscal cliff deal. So, question is:


    Do you fade the rally (buy the rumor, sell the fact)? or buy into it ?
    18 Dec 2012, 03:58 PM Reply Like
  • Trust none of it. The real (vs fiscal cliff smoke and mirrors) economic impact lies downstream of whatever deal or so-called "cliff" is manufactured by self-serving politicians, and will occur regardless what deal/cliff transpires.
    18 Dec 2012, 04:46 PM Reply Like
  • TB what's your thoughts on if we just went off the cliff as law already determines the cuts and tax cut expirations ?
    18 Dec 2012, 04:57 PM Reply Like
  • Lacking any sort of Budget for the past 4 years, it is perhaps obvious that we now see outlandish "bills" replacing them. Whether we subsequently label them "fiscal cliffs" or "fiscal bills", the upshot is the same - they are horses designed by the inept collusion of diametrically opposed committees (ie, 5 legged camels) and none of us should be surprised that they are being foisted upon us.


    Both parties are signatory to this mess, and both will have to share the blame. An observer wishing to gage the integrity of a given politician will be able to do so to the extent that they seek to spin the debacle to make themselves and/or their Party appear to be doing their job...


    For the truth is that regardless of the details, this affair is a dramatic and abject failure for the entire Federal government.


    Finally, NO portion of the deal/cliff will be sustained beyond 2013, during which a constant series of increasingly comedic contests between both Parties will seek to make themselves appear competent.


    Referring once again to my fictonal "observer", anyone wishing to evaluate the smarts of any people they meet can just look at the extent to which they support this process as it unfolds...


    Sorry for the rant.


    To your point, I feel that simply electing to go off the cliff would be politically valuable to some minorities in BOTH parties, and would probably do less net damage to the nation than the brokered bill (including Boner's Plan "B", whatever that is). In this case, the two groups are so dangerously incompetent that the less they do the better off we are.
    18 Dec 2012, 06:11 PM Reply Like
  • LT: Greetings. The sun will rise on JAN 1 2013. The real fallout is more likely to be political than financial. Our debt will not shrink nor will deficits disappear. There will be no actual cuts but there may be a temporary reduction regarding the spending increases guaranteed by base line budgeting. Until the $800B+ stimulus is dropped from the budget it will continue to be an albatross around the neck of economic growth. Either way deal or cliff we will likely see the recession continue as no growth policies will be implemented. Markets will continue to defy gravity until the illusion can't be continued. That will be the real fiscal cliff and may not happen for sometime to come. The next round will be the debt ceiling battle which will be a largely political event as well. Got dry powder?
    18 Dec 2012, 06:14 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks guys, that is my take too, especially "the sun will rise Jan '13"


    The one thing I will add to Robt's post..:


    Stimulus is not bad, IF it still is included in a balanced budget where the debt does not rise. The other thing I see that got us here is the enormous trade deficit. That is really hard to fix.


    I have about decided that going over the cliff and deal with the consequences might be better for the country long term. The pol's just can't get it right to do what's best for the USA.


    This new "chained CPI" won't only limit raises in Soc. Security, but wage / salary increases are tied to this too. The last time we changed it the 20 year result is huge "income inequality"....I would imagine this only gets worse. For years we got 1-4% wage increases when everything we bought was going out the roof...gas form $1- $4
    18 Dec 2012, 06:41 PM Reply Like
  • Independent of "fiscal cliff" considerations, without change in current law before Jan.1, net after tax pay for all individuals employed in positions participating in social security system will shrink by 2% or more as the "SS tax holiday" expires. I say will shrink by 2% or more since the 2% is assessed on gross pay, not pay after tax, insurance and other withholdings. If managements of medical device makers are credible, some employees of those firms will likely receive separation notices. And, "Obamacare" 3.8% tax on "unearned income" of individuals with $200K (families $250K) withholding will likely kick in, reducing the incomes and cash flows of higher income individuals/families.


    "Fiscal cliff" issues are twofold, "Bush tax cuts" and across the board budget cuts through "sequestration". Normally, I would expect 'back loading' of sequestration cuts with little immediate change on anticipation of political agreement on which areas would be cut more than others. Imminent strike of the federal debt ceiling increases political pressure to reach some kind of agreement on a revised debt ceiling and fiscal cliff issues as once the ceiling is reached, federal outlays will be limited to the same rate as revenue inflows (unless King Voldemort declares constitutional authority to waive the ceiling). Late payments to government contractors, supply vendors, transfers to State governments, federal government employees, military personnel, social security beneficiaries, medicare providers, etc. would follow pretty quickly unless across the board sequestration is promptly implemented. Prompt implementation of sequestration would sharply curtail contracts and instigate large layoffs among contractors, particularly affecting defense contractors. Federal and State government layoffs would occur as transfers to States decline.


    Meanwhile, expiration of the "Bush tax cuts" will boost the amount of income tax collected from people fortunate enough to keep their jobs and disposable income of those individuals will fall. A decline in aggregate consumption expenditures will follow.


    Going "over the fiscal cliff" appears roughly equivalent economically to a cold turkey heroine addiction drug treatment program.


    As time passes and post-2012 workdays are reflected in pay checks, take home pay will decline further.
    18 Dec 2012, 07:27 PM Reply Like
  • LT; no thanks to any fedgov pol, the increase in domestic NG and crude production will work some good on the trade deficit.


    It should also help with domestic US jobs, since reduced manufacturing/electric... prices will help shift offshore jobs back to the US. Exporting energy in the form of food will also work for the agricultural industry.


    So I see some relief over the next 5 years that has nothing to do with Central Planning by the fedgov. Since 5 year plans worked out so well for the USSR and others, you would think the fedcrats would know better ;/<) Nope.
    18 Dec 2012, 07:49 PM Reply Like
  • Siliconbilly: RE: abundant fuel:
    That is the argument we see that is "fueling" our current run up. Dow is within 750 points of its all time high of 14K.
    Got profits? Protect them.
    As an example:
    Steel is always a good indicator, imo. NUE is rising substantially based on China soft landing and inexpensive fuel.
    ( Despite the fact that they just disclosed they are missing expectations for the 4th quarter). This run up is on low volume.
    Another one is Raytheon:
    Hitting a new yearly high almost daily. After all, it is surely dependent on goverment contracts. So why isn't the "fiscal cliff" unknown impacting the stock price?
    Enjoy the highs.
    Be wary. Protect profits.
    Disclosure: Long NUE and RTN
    18 Dec 2012, 08:01 PM Reply Like
  • OG; No doubt. As a reason to buy into this puffy market; I say NO.


    But those company profits that are strongly tied to the cost of fuel almost have to benefit if the price decreases. Given; that other factors could "neutralize" any gain.
    Example: Transportation in general should benefit. But if business volume decreases, they will benefit less.


    If Amazon can take advantage of lower transportation costs they could do more business on heavier or bulkier items.
    18 Dec 2012, 08:27 PM Reply Like
  • I disagree on the cheap nat gas and crude production here for now. Go google Jim Cramer's statement on that in the past 2-3 weeks. Structured correctly we could benefit tremendously...if not it only benefits a few companies, and will be exported raising prices to global parity which is $12 instead of the $3 we have now.


    Energy independence is possible, GE's Immelt says that repeatedly and that we are so close now. So I am not arguing the possibility that you mention all being true, it's just not there now.
    19 Dec 2012, 06:06 AM Reply Like
  • Gold : India: Bankers holding short positions and paper gold

    18 Dec 2012, 06:34 PM Reply Like
  • The Indian bankers have been larning from the JPMorg...


    I wonder what the Silver Bears would sound like speaking Hindi?
    19 Dec 2012, 08:12 AM Reply Like
  • Thanks for all the discussion on the topic....IMO, it is all valuable and there is good info in each post.
    19 Dec 2012, 06:09 AM Reply Like
  • one more piece falls in place and maybe another small sign pol's are going to work together a little more:


    5:34 AM House and Senate negotiators yesterday reached a deal over a $640.7B defense budget for the current fiscal year, including $88.5B for operations in Afghanistan. However, the spending doesn't account for the automatic cuts that are due to take place if the fiscal cliff is not averted. The measures now need to be approved by the House and Senate before going to President Obama for his signature. [U.S. Economy, Top Stories] Comment!
    19 Dec 2012, 06:53 AM Reply Like
  • Wall St. doesn't like todays washington bickering....they are gonna turn up the pressure....probably down every day now until the deal is done.
    I think POTUS drew his line in the sand...get rid of Norquist and we probably get a deal fast. It would appear that Plan B is worse than Plan A...because it drew his endorsement...wish he would go to the same resort that Rove is now stationed at.
    19 Dec 2012, 03:35 PM Reply Like
  • Beware of the new regulations that the administration has in waiting. Fracking will undoubtedly be targeted so the cheap NG may not continue to be cheap. Taxes in the Obamatax that we haven't seen yet will begin affecting almost every one between now and 2014. Has anyone even started talking about spending cuts other than Voldemort telling his Death Eaters "How cute the Republicans still think there will be spending cuts."?
    19 Dec 2012, 03:57 PM Reply Like
  • "I think POTUS drew his line in the sand...get rid of Norquist and we probably get a deal fast. It would appear that Plan B is worse than Plan A...because it drew his endorsement..."


    To my way of thinking, "Plan B" is deficient only in that it left on the table an increase in tax rates for $1 million + incomes. That was offered to POTUS before and IMO "Plan B" should have sent the message "Plan A" was the best he could expect and was only available for a few days.
    19 Dec 2012, 04:05 PM Reply Like
  • Senator Schumer (D) NY proffered the $1M tax plan in 2010. Representative Pelosi (D) CA wanted a vote on this plan on the House floor in May of this year. The POTUS just rejected a plan devised by the Democrats and Senator Reid (D) NV said it wouldn't pass the Senate meaning that he won't allow it to be debated or voted on. Representative Boehner (R) OH says he has the votes to pass the bill and will put it to a vote Thursday if nothing else happens first. Should the bill pass the House with bipartisan support which looks likely he should send it to the Senate and adjourn the House for Christmas. Further discussion should move to the PQC as this thread is getting a political flavor.
    19 Dec 2012, 04:16 PM Reply Like
  • Just looked over a surreal interview with the 2 top guys at Oracle...


    One of the topics covered was layoffs, something which they immediately denied, insisting that they were "...increasing headcounts..." Only after some diligent digging could the observer discover that they were talking about adding loads of sales consultants and commission contract sales people, while reducing technical and support staff. Needless to say there was a time (pre-Voldemortcare, of course) when a wise CEO avoided counting consultants and subcontractors as "employees" adding to his "headcount", but hey, in a crony capitalist system its a whole new set of rules and business language.


    It was almost with a sense of sentimental journey that I laughed out loud as I heard the two delusional dweebs talking about "...increasing our tooth to tail ratio...", again, something which corporate sharks in the 80's and 90's used to proudly say as they made permanent manning cuts to hit temporary stock option goals.


    I checked their stock, and sure enough ORCL was up 3.74% today.


    LOL, imagine how well the stock price might have done had they announced laying off all their full time employees and replacing them with a job sharing program in Bangalore.
    19 Dec 2012, 04:26 PM Reply Like
  • And this just in from Zero Hedge:


    "In key news that may well be the missing puzzle piece to explain some of the very odd market moves in the past week, we just learned courtesy of CNBC, that Morgan Stanley's Wealth platform unit has finally…pulled the plug on the fund that for the second year in a row is one of the three worst performing in the weekly HSBC report and is now redeeming.


    That in itself is not unexpected. What however is notable is that MS withdrawing hundreds of millions in feeder capital may well explain why gold has seen such a dramatic dislocation in the past week. Recall that at Paulson & Co, gold is not simply an investment - the bulk of direct gold investments at the once legendary investor are in the form of (largely underperforming) gold mining stocks - but an actual investment class. In other words, instead of being denominated in USD, investors are actually denominated in (paper) gold, with a fixed conversion into GLD at inception. This means that upon liquidation of gold-denominated shares, any gold-denominated shares, he has no choice but to sell GLD, and by virtue of this being the most liquid paper instrument in the PM space, gold.”

    19 Dec 2012, 04:52 PM Reply Like
  • Presumably Paulson is electing to take profits in GLD vs taking large losses in any long held gold miners...
    19 Dec 2012, 05:06 PM Reply Like
  • Helloooooo from Copan, folks!


    Tomorrow at 8PM EST (December 20) I will be doing a live podcast from Copan, Honduras with David Katzmire on The Cycles of Change Radio Program.


    Questions on this live show are welcomed and invited. Call in number is: (347) 884-9593


    LInk to the show is:


    "The Cycles of Change" Radio Program
    with K. David Katzmire
    Thursdays at 8pm Eastern


    Live Shows & Archive at:



    Call In: (347) 884-9593


    Direct link to this show:



    Topics of discussion will be both about Mayan History, the calendar celebration and an overview of all the current invents and local celebrations.


    19 Dec 2012, 05:13 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks Maya. Hope all of you arrived safe and sound and are having a great time there.
    19 Dec 2012, 05:18 PM Reply Like
  • Maya, I'm very envious of you! Have fun for my Dad and I, yeah?


    We are just going to make "End of the World Ribs" at home. I've got a recipe from the Yucatan Peninsula that involvess teaming the ribs in banana leaves.


    It will not be nearly as tasty as the food you'll probably have.
    20 Dec 2012, 11:41 AM Reply Like
  • New hyperlink for the live podcast from Copan. The other one had expired!



    19 Dec 2012, 06:03 PM Reply Like
  • read this: She pretty well says it
    19 Dec 2012, 06:42 PM Reply Like
  • "read this: She pretty well says it"


    In your opinon, not mine. PQC5 material.
    19 Dec 2012, 06:52 PM Reply Like
  • Wednesday, December 19, 7:23 PM IntercontinentalExchange ( is back in talks with NYSE Euronext ( and could announce a full takeover of the Big Board as soon as tomorrow, multiple sources are reporting. ICE (worth about $9.3B) was part of a combined bid with Nasdaq OMX ( for NYX (worth about $5.8B) last year that came apart under antitrust scrutiny; this deal would likely be a mix of stock and cash. NYX +12.3% AH; ICE +2.9%.


    361k unemployment this week...GDP 3.1% revised !!


    What impact does all of this have on stocks..More electronic trading, less floor trading??
    20 Dec 2012, 08:32 AM Reply Like
  • Good morning from the Mountain Time Zone, all! I've survived another semester with all brain cells intact, and have something that you investors may want to be aware of.


    My father and I live on the US-Mexico border right next to the infamous Cuidad Juarez. Now, despite it's reputation, apparently North American companies are looking at Juarez as an option for "reshoring," which is to say that they want to move their Chinese factories back to this continent. You can catch the entire article here in our local Business News Paper.



    I'm interested to hear your thoughts on how this may change your investment strategies, if at all.
    20 Dec 2012, 11:24 AM Reply Like
  • I hope y'all have been to Demming for the duck races in August... nothing quite like it...
    20 Dec 2012, 01:25 PM Reply Like
  • Jon, Springer: Season's greetings. The Duck races are cool but I think people only go there to see the ducks crash! Have you attended the whole enchilada festival in Las Cruces?
    20 Dec 2012, 02:23 PM Reply Like
  • Duck Races and Whole Enchilada Festival? Dad, are you being sarcastic >.> It's hard to tell over the web.
    20 Dec 2012, 02:51 PM Reply Like
  • JS, Spawn and RBF,
    I attended the duck race for a short period many years ago, what a hoot. Didn't get to the enchilada festival, but it sounds like good eating and if already on the road from So Cal to Texas anyway would make for a good stop. Spawn, local festivals and celebrations are great fun and a way to meet the local people.
    20 Dec 2012, 03:00 PM Reply Like
  • I went to the duck races in 2001 (we're talking about the Great American Duck Race of Demming, New Mexico... here's the schedule from 2011


    The parade that kicked off the event was special; as was the event. Felt like I was in a movie about a great community from the 1950s.


    RBF & Spawn - despite 8 years in Albuquerque, I missed out on the Whole Enchilada in Las Cruces (and Billy The Kid days in Lincoln, and the tour of Trinity Site, etc)... at least there's still stuff to go back and do when I stop back in for my chile fix.
    20 Dec 2012, 05:41 PM Reply Like
  • Indeed there is allot of stuff in the vacinity. Carlsbad is only a three hour drive. Next time you're in the area let me know. Nothing like roasted Hatch long greens to take care of the hankering for Chille.
    20 Dec 2012, 06:24 PM Reply Like
  • wrong link
    here's the duck race: (click on schedule on the left side bar)


    will take you up on that RBF... going to be too long before we get back... but chile will call...


    when friends used to come to visit, used to like to do a loop between White Sands & Carlsbad Caverns with an overnight in Artesia where there was a restaurant with some of the finest stuffed sopapillas to stuff a belly with
    20 Dec 2012, 06:38 PM Reply Like
  • Jon, Springer: Season's greetings. Sounds like a paln waiting to happen. Have you ever had a Buckhorn burger? The wife and I went to the throw down and really enjoyed it. The owner is a freind of mine and introduced us to Bobby Flay. It was held at the Apache Bosque wild life sanctuary right out side of San Antonio NM. That green chile cheese burger will definitely take care of your Chile craving and the rumbling in your tummy.
    21 Dec 2012, 12:12 PM Reply Like
  • Sweet ol' grandmother of my ex-gf would roll over in her grave if I went anywhere but the Owl Cafe ( for a green chile cheeseburger in San Antonio outside Bosque del Apache. (Sorry Bobby Flay)


    Love going to Bosque del Apache when the migrating birds are in town... great show, though never convinced anyone to go for the sunrise flight... only went many times to see the sunset mass return.
    21 Dec 2012, 01:25 PM Reply Like
  • New Emerging Markets article by me:
    - Emerging Market Bonds Merging Toward Trouble


    Used some good charts forwarded from a friend and snuck in a picture of Hank Paulson. Need to review my conclusion...


    Happy Holidays from the Czech Republic where we're with my wife's family ! Have to go eat something that my arteries will remember...
    20 Dec 2012, 01:27 PM Reply Like
  • Have a great time with family Jon and a safe journey home. Best wishes to you and yours at Christmas time. That goes for all of the Gades, QCers and followers as well as the greater SA community.
    20 Dec 2012, 02:26 PM Reply Like
  • Happy holidays to all indeed !
    20 Dec 2012, 05:41 PM Reply Like
  • " Happy holidays to all indeed ! "


    20 Dec 2012, 06:22 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks Robert, and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. I wish everyone a great new year.
    20 Dec 2012, 10:17 PM Reply Like
  • Turquoise Hill (TRQ) and SouthGobi (SGQRF.PK) trading alert
    21 Dec 2012, 07:40 AM Reply Like
  • (APGI.OB): For those interested in the NG space, and diesel conversions specifically, here's one of the most thorough articles I've ever seen.


    "American Power Group: A 'Turbocharged' Game Changer Using Natural Gas"



    I've done no DD yet, but the article was so well done I wanted to bring it to your attention now. Speculative in nature, chart showing a bump ATM - likely off the article's effects.


    Happy holidays to all!


    21 Dec 2012, 12:48 PM Reply Like
  • To be, or not to be...


    Am I still here? Or, am I still there?


    Has hither become yon?


    Has now become then?


    doubleguns was going wild last night dancing at the fabulous free concert given by Guillermo Andeson and his immensely talented ten piece band, the Central de Parque packed with thousands, yelling, "This is how it should be! Liberty, liberty, LIBERTY!"
    21 Dec 2012, 02:13 PM Reply Like
  • I got out of the shower this afternoon (in Czech Republic) and family greeted me by telling me, "You missed the end of the world."


    21 Dec 2012, 04:08 PM Reply Like
  • Seeking Alpha putting out a series of articles looking forward to 2013 (more to be added)
    21 Dec 2012, 04:35 PM Reply Like
  • Spawn made Mayan pork ribs in the crock pot just in case we survived the end of the world dinner would be ready. I tasted them and they are awesome! Happy end of the world everyone!
    21 Dec 2012, 07:54 PM Reply Like
  • Sandstorm Gold (SAND) CEO interviewed on Seeking Alpha by Sean Bellamy McNulty
    22 Dec 2012, 12:21 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks Jon. Excellent interview/article. The points made align nearly precisely with my own take on the industry (but then, I am a long time fan of Sandstorm and SLW).
    22 Dec 2012, 01:09 PM Reply Like
  • I think some of you will like the work of John Overstreet:


    On an unrelated note, TRQ and SGQRF.PK will likely pop on news of the day.
    24 Dec 2012, 07:47 AM Reply Like
  • Back in Philly!


    In Honduras, I upgraded to Business Class and watched pal David Katzmire stroll past me toward coach, teasing as he did so,


    I never saw him again.


    David was missing. I waited at least 45 minutes in Miami at baggage claim. David is 6'4" tall. How could I have missed him?It was time for me to move, as there were about 1000 people waitng in line to hand over the What Did You Buy Form. I craned my neck, stood on my tippy toes, scanning the crowd in front of me.


    No David.


    Now behind me, were another 1000 people as I approached the final step of actually being in the US. I looked at the mass of humanity.


    No David.


    I waited at the gate.


    No David.


    Now I'm worried.


    I boarded the airplane, talked to a stewardess, and expalined that my traveling pal had gone missing.


    The plane waited an extra ten minutes.


    No David, perhaps he's with Customs, the flight attendent stated. I explained that we had a 3 hour layover, surely enough time if there was a problem.


    The plane pulled away from the gate, and I was now very worried.


    What happened? Did someone slip something in his suitcase? Or worse, did David have a health issue? Did he miss the plane because I told him I would meet him at baggage claim and I wasn't there?


    The best, most postive I could think of was that Customs detained him for whatever reason.


    That's what happened. A "ramdon" detailed search occurred. But not of David, but of his camera, his I-Phone, and his laptop.


    David missed his flight, by 15 freaking minutes, after they released him, but they still kept his electronics for the night. No hotel room provided, and he was allowed to make only one phone call using a TSA phone.


    Meanwhile, all the way to Philly, I was in a deep worry. Exiting the aircraft, I grabbed an agent, who after checking his flight status could only say David was scheduled for the first flight to Philly from Miami in the morning, and by law she could say nothing more.


    All this done on Christmas Eve? A "random" siezure and electronic equipment? To an American citizen, who has never before been arrested...this electronic equipment coming from Honduras?


    I'm pissed!


    Otherwise a fantastic trip. I never used my umbrella once...during this rainy season. The power only went out once, and that's while I was sleeping, so it didn't count.


    My goal was to provide through my knowlege and contacts down there a livelong memory. Everyone was charmed by Copan, and learned a lot about the ancient Maya. Mission successful, by all the gratitude I received during our final face times, and during our farewell diner, attended by Dr. David Sedat, who gave us a free lecture, and a paid for intimate tour of the ruins. This man is turning on it's head what is the "present day" knowlege of Copan history, as two top epigraphers and perhaps the top independent scholar in the world listened to what David's new interpretations of the monuments are. i have lots of updating to accomplish next year.


    So, so much more did my party, "The World Enders," we named ourselves, both together and apart.


    When I came to Miami Customs, the agent asked me, "Were you in Honduras for business or vacationing?"


    I responded, "Well...a little of both. I'm writing a historical novel about the ancent Maya. But this trip wasn't about writing, but about throwing an Ending Of The World Fiesta, which was attended by some of my friends from around the USA. We all survived."


    He gave a little smirk, and then waived me through.


    And how it just happens, that only minutes ago, David called me. He's in his car, being driven home by his girlfiend, to catch up on some US Government stolen sleep.
    24 Dec 2012, 12:42 PM Reply Like
  • Sorry to hear that the ending for your friend was so ... "horrible".


    Glad that it wasn't worse.


    Welcome back.


    24 Dec 2012, 12:48 PM Reply Like
  • Great travel story, Maya. Glad your back safe and sound.


    Happy Holidays to ALL quick chatters. Hope you have been strategizing for next year as I have -- think we will all need each others' best thinking to survive 2013!
    24 Dec 2012, 12:51 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks, Mercy and Hard.


    Hoping doubleguns and maybe even Tim Enright offer an account through their perspectives. It was a rich trip. I'm beat, and the family is arriving tomorrow, perhaps ahead of the coming weather, to celebrate on the 27th.


    Go, go, GO!
    24 Dec 2012, 12:59 PM Reply Like
  • Congrats on the Copan experiences, Maya, and sorry to hear about your friend's travel travails.


    Looks like multiple sources are suggesting need for a bit of history re-write. I read, "This man is turning on it's head what is the "present day" knowlege of Copan history, as two top epigraphers and perhaps the top independent scholar in the world listened to what David's new interpretations of the monuments are" a few hours after viewing a few minutes of "plug" for an upcoming history channel series that, among other things, suggested the Maya domain extended into Georgia and possibly other locations in what is now U.S. South.
    24 Dec 2012, 01:19 PM Reply Like
  • Indeed, D-Inv. I informed tripleblack maybe over a year ago, who is part Cherokee, of the Georgia potential discovery, and that possibly some of his blood is Mayan -- that's why he's so smart ;-)


    I'll add that the Maya of Palenque had carved into stone the 13 baktun (about 5125 years) an "ascension celebration" of the pretender king, Pacal (means Shield) of Palenque. He's the "king" who was so famously and falsely proclaimed to be piloting a "spaceship." The carving was chiseled into a sarcophagus stone atop his tomb. And that stick shift control do hickey he was holding is nothing more than a royal scepter.


    The celebration is to occur around 4726 AD. (I do not recall the exact date, but the above is in the area code)


    Perhaps the most renowned current day Mayan Epigrapher is David Stuart. I am positively clueless to why he believes that the Long Count Calendar three days ago went from, to A complete reset. He's wrong. The Mayan Calendar is much like a car odometer. The day after Dec. 21, the Long Count, or the "Haab," the Mayan solar calendar, flipped to


    Even on "18 Rabbit's" stelea in Copan, the carvings are read such that he was both physically and spiritually 2,000,000 years in the past, as well as 2,000,000 years into the future, simultaneously. Loosely put, he was inside of time, outside of time, and throughout all time. Going even further, he was able to see the creation of the universe, its unfolding, it's constant creation and evolution, both trillions of years into the past, as well as into the future.


    No, the Mayan calendar did not end. This is just another major cycle, an important celestial moment in time, as our solar system is wobbling past the Milky Way elliptic, now at a 90 degree angle to Xibalba, the dark center of our of our very bright and wondering galaxy.
    24 Dec 2012, 02:55 PM Reply Like
  • "the dark center of our of our very bright and wondering galaxy"


    Known to today's scientists as "a super-massive black hole", which is now known (*strongly* suspected?) to be at the center of every galaxy and from which no light can escape - leading to the darkness observed at the center of the galaxy.


    Could be there were some pretty advanced folks wandering around back then - leading "modern science" by a very big margin.


    24 Dec 2012, 03:44 PM Reply Like
  • :-) Thanks for the Maya lore, Maya. I had read a year or so back about a theory suggesting what some called "Mound Indians" reflecting Mayan cultural and commercial influence with such influence extending some distance up the Mississippi and its main tributaries. But don't recall any suggestion of it included Mayan population migration.


    Thanks also for the tripleblack heritage info which may further contribute to personal affinity with his art work and political perspective. We have Cherokee lineage as well as other pre-revolutionary war ancestor presence here in common. My paternal Great Grandmother was Cherokee.
    24 Dec 2012, 04:20 PM Reply Like
  • Laughing out loud. Don't agree 100%, but I'll take 93% and a good laugh.


    How Many Malls Does China Need? by Harris Kupperman


    "...what would convince a Chinese investor to build a million square foot mall when there are already a half dozen completed ones that are more than half vacant? If your answer includes the words; corruption, greed, stupidity, easy credit, central planning, lax oversight by banks, state enterprises looking to diversify out of money losing businesses and/or money laundering, you have a good understanding of how China functions. If you use words like return on capital, profitability, or sector analysis, you need to stick to American companies."


    and (from same article)


    "Returning to our narrative, here are the lessons that world policy-makers seem to have learned from the 2008/2009 era;


    1. Economic collapse does not secure your political career.


    2. It's very hard to fight a collapse once things start to unwind. It is better to be pro-active than open Pandora's Box and have a down quarter


    3. Stimulus works (I won't argue if that is correct, just that it is believed to be the case). If you haven't restarted your economy, it is because you haven't used ENOUGH stimulus.


    4. Monetary stimulus works, and if QE3 won't restart things, then it means that QE4 just needs to be larger.


    5. There are unintended consequences from this stimulus, but you only live once as a politician. Can kicking is a real governance style.


    6. Keeping the economy going at any cost makes you popular... rinse and repeat.


    Why hasn't this stimulus done much in a place like the US?


    It is because our stimulus goes into food stamps, unemployment checks, other entitlements and wasteful government hiring that regulates businesses and then makes those businesses uncompetitive. You don't create jobs and self-sustaining economic growth through handouts and red tape."


    full link:
    25 Dec 2012, 05:42 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks, Jon. I've been a non-attendee for the last couple years at the China party. That darned old geopolitical background of mine just keeps me from enjoying the counterfeited champagne and who-knows-what's-in-'em canapes.


    I haven't read this gentleman before but if you read some of my previous articles here like "The Great China Jugger-Not" and "Why We Don't Own China" it's clear he and I share the same sense of history and reality.


    By the way, the Comments on any article suggesting caution on China are quite telling, as well. It seems as if someone is paid to look for any such article and refute it, if not honestly, at least vociferously! :-)
    26 Dec 2012, 11:37 AM Reply Like
  • Jon, I read the full article and have to agree with it.


    Also, a "bank" in China isn't anything a US investor would recognize as a bank. It is a government controlled entity that handles money and makes loans. Kinda, sorta, if you have the right connections.
    25 Dec 2012, 11:29 PM Reply Like
  • Well there goes the retail stocks!!

    26 Dec 2012, 09:24 AM Reply Like
  • A slew of new regulations was dumped by the administration Friday after noon. This doesn't bode well for economic growth.
    26 Dec 2012, 10:07 AM Reply Like
  • Regulations are taxes because regulations set a floor for fixed costs by requiring standards that current technology cannot meet without incurring more labor. These costs are passed to the public either through price or a reduction in choice. Obama has basically imposed a sales tax (the most regressive of all, but one which we all pay regardless of whether we see it or not) on everyone, including the DWTS voter base he has.
    26 Dec 2012, 10:31 AM Reply Like
  • Just wait for the real taxmageddon that is coming.
    26 Dec 2012, 10:56 AM Reply Like
  • "Refi Program Expansion Eyed"



    I guess there's a profit for folks in there, at taxpayer expense. But what does that matter any more?


    26 Dec 2012, 10:29 AM Reply Like
  • Indeed! the entire thing worked so well let's expand it into areas that have no connection to any government program. What could go wrong?
    26 Dec 2012, 10:57 AM Reply Like
  • Home and watching the snow fall as I parse through many emails and now comments. We stayed 2 days in Houston for a Christmas party with friends and traveled home last night. One of my emails included one from seeking alpha and was notice that they had deleted my comment from a post. Apparently it is not proper to mention Hitler in our posts so this one will obviously be deleted at some point too since I just mentioned him.


    It was in one of the political chats where I made the comment. Here is that comment for all to judge.


    "It is unconstitutional but the two parties no longer concern themselves with those issues anymore....its about having power, all the power, when its their turn in office. Both parties keep pushing for a stronger Cesar/Hitler/Mao. This will only end with the destruction of our country or a bloody revolution. I really am hoping for neither of those two options."


    They put this reason in for why it was deleted. "We have deleted your comment because it contains inflammatory language about the topic under discussion (comparing present day political figures to Hitler)."


    Sorry folks but I see nothing wrong with that comment that the censor police must remove it. Also notice that Cesar and Mao are OK. Maybe its just a hunt for certain words by a computer program and no one really looked at the comment. No political figures were named in my comment, nor was any called a Hitler. So now that I have used that word three times in this comment it obviously will be deleted for sure but now we know you can not use that word.


    I will post my copan story in the end of world fiesta blog so that it can be kept for future reference and be easily found.


    26 Dec 2012, 03:49 PM Reply Like
  • DG


    It must be a computer issue because i had a comment deleted that i scrathed my head on ...BTW Wall Mart was out of shot gun shells..Just sayin!!
    26 Dec 2012, 04:10 PM Reply Like
  • I didn't see anything wrong with your post. Many Wal Marts are out of weapons and ammunition. Lots of hunters this year eh?
    26 Dec 2012, 04:56 PM Reply Like
  • Robert


    Happy Holidays....Ganders line is worse than a bakery on a Holiday. I thought AFTER Christmas it would of slowed down...NOooooo way.


    Amazed how heavy the line was today....No returns, just newbies buying...I had to wait 15 people so i walked out and will go back next week early in the morning when they open.


    Have a rifle i am interested in for ..oh yeah hunting !!
    26 Dec 2012, 05:07 PM Reply Like
  • A Canadian Summarizes America's Collapse: "Everyone Takes, Nobody Makes, Money Is Free, And Money Is Worthless"

    26 Dec 2012, 07:25 PM Reply Like
  • 6 Brands That Will Likely Disappear in 2013.

    26 Dec 2012, 11:35 PM Reply Like
  • Boulderdash! Guns, every single one of those entities will exist beyond next year.


    Although, some of them beyond 2013, are doomed.
    27 Dec 2012, 01:21 AM Reply Like
  • 10 lim bet!!! Not all will be here. I found a 1 lim note here in my suitcase. Maybe will find more. LOL
    27 Dec 2012, 01:07 PM Reply Like
  • You're on! BTW: 10 lempiras = 50 cents ;-) Or, 10 way overpriced oranges.
    27 Dec 2012, 04:30 PM Reply Like
  • I am not taking oranges.
    27 Dec 2012, 05:11 PM Reply Like
  • Will have my 2nd bullish article on (TRQ) up later today (I hope). May or may not see it get posted as I'm quite sick, visiting family, and should be working on other projects if I have time and energy to work.


    Policy in Mongolia is pivoting and if I had dry powder for a quick trade (a few weeks/ months), I'd give TRQ a good thinkabout.
    27 Dec 2012, 06:59 AM Reply Like
  • article:
    27 Dec 2012, 07:43 AM Reply Like
  • Feel better soon, Jon.
    27 Dec 2012, 10:28 AM Reply Like
  • Thanks D-Inv. I know they mean well, but I think the codeine my wife's family gave me to go to sleep is making me hyper... or maybe it was the sage tea that you gargle but don't drink... or the fruity tea before that... or the drops of I don't know what in my water... or the nasal spray... or the cough drops...


    How long are the markets open Monday? What a Monday it will be...
    27 Dec 2012, 06:40 PM Reply Like
  • Hmm. TRQ didn't budge yesterday. If its still a sitting duck on Monday, it will be more than 72 hours since publication of my article and I think I will take the little dry powder I have and hurl it at Jan 2014 options. Any options advice?


    target $12 would be safe
    $15 is probably still safe
    $18 I think is reasonable (as I think it should ultimately go back over 20... but remember the old saw that markets can stay irrational longer than I can stay solvent)


    Jan 14 options on TRQ per Yahoo (take with a grain of salt)
    28 Dec 2012, 06:58 AM Reply Like
  • Jon, what time frame do you see $10, $15?
    28 Dec 2012, 07:55 AM Reply Like
  • Its producing this year. I expect $15 by summer or faster. Giving wiggle for June Presidential elections and related political nonsense... $15 by fall should be clear. (if it happened by the end of January, I wouldn't be surprised either)


    I've been wrong before... but TRQ has been a popular trading vehicle for hedgies both short and long, and its long's turn now.


    For example of what I expect, see on chart in article early October 2011 to mid-November 2011... that was the spike after the first wave of renegotiating the OT IA was shot down... 1 month...


    October 3, 2011 closed at $12.86
    November 4, 2011 closed at $22.38


    Closing as of December 27, 2012, $7.28
    28 Dec 2012, 08:21 AM Reply Like
  • TAMO: "“TAMM Shares Are Significantly Undervalued, Current Market Valuation Represent Only a Fraction of Company’s True Value” - SISM Research Update on TAMM Oil and Gas"



    27 Dec 2012, 08:27 AM Reply Like
  • wow, did TAMO move to .21 today?
    27 Dec 2012, 08:14 PM Reply Like
  • Jpau: Yes, high $0.2175. And CEC North Star Energy, the JV partner on those leaseholds, issued another PR today, "CEC North Star Energy Ltd Announces Continued Advancements in Its Heavy Oil Projects with JV Partner Tamm Oil and Gas Corp." that should keep the enthusiasm going.



    Yesterday traded 14.84MM shares and my 25-day average, was ~632.8K. The day before was also "high volume", due to a "leak" I guess, at ~356K ("K", not "MM") with a 25-day average of ~39.7K.


    Been long (TAMO) a bit - will likely take some profits somewhere along this path. Got long based on good info from Maya, TB, ... in the past and many others - my thanks to them.


    28 Dec 2012, 07:40 AM Reply Like
  • I socked 5k shares away at .12 a while back; then stared at it at a dime but never pulled the trigger for more. Still kicking myself for not loading up BCEI at $15 back in June too
    28 Dec 2012, 07:58 AM Reply Like
  • Several of us have been in TAMO for years. I have not been listing trades anymore (decided this activity was not contributing much to the blog) but I have been carrying TAMO as a buy for a while...


    But I consider it a Sell right now due to the big pop. It's still a Buy at $.14, imo.


    Disclosure: I am long and slightly overweight the stock with a zero avg share price. I am reviewing my allocations for 2013, and will be moving more resources into oil/gas than in 2012, however, so I may be accumulating more TAMO in the future...
    28 Dec 2012, 10:20 AM Reply Like
  • Still not public but keeping a watchful eye on this one.

    27 Dec 2012, 12:52 PM Reply Like
  • Guns: Yep, ingenious concept.
    27 Dec 2012, 04:31 PM Reply Like
  • When fukushima went down I was concerned that tokyo would be really contaminated. I never thought it would go down this way. A slow and methodical poisoning.

    27 Dec 2012, 02:19 PM Reply Like
  • Looks like the metals are holding up ok with the scare of the cliff!!


    I can't wait to see what they actually agree to, it will be a joke....imo
    27 Dec 2012, 03:19 PM Reply Like
  • They are the joke but the joke is on us. Pathetic actually. We are all painted up like fools laughing at everyone else till we see our own face in the mirror. (head down and shaking, walking away in shame)
    27 Dec 2012, 05:15 PM Reply Like
  • We are "The Fall Guys" here.


    28 Dec 2012, 07:56 AM Reply Like
  • Fall Guy?
    28 Dec 2012, 08:22 AM Reply Like
  • US newspaper publishes names and addresses of registered US gun owners:



    Here's a map of NY residents who own guns:

    27 Dec 2012, 05:44 PM Reply Like
  • responded on the PQC:
    27 Dec 2012, 06:33 PM Reply Like
  • Conn. Attorney annoyed at that newspaper article turned around and posted EVERY journalists name, phone number, and address that had anything to do with that story..


    Also googled the Editors house as well..A site went viral with all that info...


    So now you have all of Westchester mad. The gun owners feel like pedophiles and the non gun owners feel they are exposed now to potential villians..


    Wild !!
    28 Dec 2012, 12:49 AM Reply Like
  • I live near the town of Kennesaw, Georgia, which is famous for its local law requiring all heads of household to be gun owners...


    LOL, I guess the Mayor could hold a press conference and wave the phone book at the press.
    28 Dec 2012, 10:24 AM Reply Like
  • Also heard that many of those who were not listed as gun owners now feel like targets for criminals. Yep the whole damn town is pissed.
    28 Dec 2012, 02:29 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting facts from my area: and how the population demographics are distorting numbers more than I thought.


    “Part of the drop in the unemployment rate was due to a decline in the available workforce,” said Ron Crouch, director of research and statistics for the Office of Employment and Training. “One of the issues we are seeing nationally is the young workforce is not growing because of the low fertility rate over the past few decades, and we are seeing people leaving to retire or because of a disability. Nationally, there are 220,000 baby boomers reaching retirement age every month.”
    Crouch, citing Moody’s Analytics, said there is evidence, at least nationally, that people are choosing to retire now. Formerly, it was thought that discouraged and unemployed residents no longer looking for work caused some of the bigger shifts in the available workforce.
    Previous estimates were that the nation would need to add 180,000 jobs a month to keep up with the population growth. Analysts now say that number should be closer to 75,000 jobs a month, so the employment picture is more positive.
    27 Dec 2012, 08:15 PM Reply Like
  • That is very interesting. I wonder how the numbers work out? If we have 220,000 people going into retirement every month and only 75,000 jobs added, who is going to be paying for the retirement benefits of those retiring? Additionally, are these people retiring at age 62 instead of 65 as previously planned (For instance, my father-in-law is retiring earlier because he is not sure how much longer the printing company he works for will stay in business).


    Lots of variables. Thanks for the article.
    28 Dec 2012, 09:51 AM Reply Like
  • Demographics as an excuse for poor employment performance is a cop-out. If your economy were strong and vibrant then your society attracts people (immigration) and people feel more secure having children. To say changing demographics explain poor employment stats is like saying the blood coming out of your self inflicted bullet wound explains your declining health.
    28 Dec 2012, 11:48 AM Reply Like
  • JH


    Do you honestly believe any numbers coming out of this admin? I don't, all i see is 350k a week unemployed and maybe 200k a MONTH new jobs added..


    Simple math shows were in trouble...Had 350k in NOV call it quits looking for work, so they now don't count in the calculation of unemployed? Are you kidding me...Then if you exaust your unemployment you are also dropped out of the calculation as well.


    So people can spin it any way they want. Were in trouble...I am preparing for it !!
    28 Dec 2012, 12:01 PM Reply Like
  • Jak, that is precisely what has entitlements upside down and it's a double whammy when companies have outsourced overseas....of course that brings up a sore subject with me, that being the pol's spent the social security that was paid in to cover these costs and now want to get rid of the programs which if the money had been left alone would have more than covered the expense & actually had a surplus. that irks me to the bone.
    they have known for 60-70 years that these people would age and how much they would draw out. But they couldn't resist the urge to put it in the gen. fund and spend it.
    28 Dec 2012, 12:04 PM Reply Like
  • IT


    "Do you honestly believe any numbers coming out of this admin? "


    It always pays to be skeptical, but overall they can't distort the numbers too much because then the manipulation becomes obvious. Also, even though having a gov record economic stats that will determine how the voters perceive their performance suggests some obvious conflicts of interest, if you recognize that overt manipulation would destroy all confidence in their reporting, then you can recognize the inherent flaws and use the information as a baramoter that will give you some indication of changes in policy that will affect how the gov transfers wealth.


    For instance, if the BLS started churning out stats that led to unemployment claims being under 100k, then it could signal that the Fed would have an excuse to ease off QE. Obviously, they don't want that to happen, so they are caught in a catch 22. They want the economy to look better so they get credit, but they also want to have cover to allow the Fed to keep transferring wealth to the financial markets from the general populace via weakening the currency.


    So while a source that is independent of the gov would probably provide much more reliable employment stats, we have what we have, and as long as they are constrained by this catch 22, you can use the numbers to your advantage. Granted the numbers will include bias that favors the political ideologies and self interest of those producing the numbers, but as long as the catch 22 forces the biases to be consistent, you can get some use out of the numbers to determine the overall direction of the subsidy mix and its affect on wealth transfer.
    28 Dec 2012, 02:31 PM Reply Like
  • jakurtz: I began collecting SS benefits as soon as I was qualified. "fastening device" waiting until I am 65 or 67 yo, or whatever. The demographics are nasty for continued payout of promised SS retirement benefits in the future. I'm getting something now rather than the promise of xx percent more/month in the future.


    I have no confidence that I will ever see a return OF my "contributions", much less a return ON them.
    28 Dec 2012, 02:51 PM Reply Like
  • I beleive this administration as much as any. My main point is that the changing demographics will never match the guidelines we used to measure in.
    The Fed will continue to provide support untill that $50 trillion of lost wealth is mostly gained back.


    I base some numbers on local gathered info in different areas such as home sales, prices , etc...these are compiled by our local MLS system and has no ties to the fed...or gov't ....the numbers are just what they really are. You can identifly trends and compare with gov't reports.
    28 Dec 2012, 02:54 PM Reply Like
  • LT: "wealth" ... I propose FRN notes would be appropriate in your statement while "wealth" is certainly not.


    Wealth = stable purchasing power, the results of product creation ultimately. FRNs = declining purchasing power, the result of continuous inflation of the notes unrelated to creation of wealth.


    28 Dec 2012, 02:59 PM Reply Like
  • JH,
    Yeah, lead poisoning sucks.;-)
    28 Dec 2012, 03:02 PM Reply Like
  • jak, your father-in-law might want to re-consider if his only reason is concern of how much longer his employer will stay in business. Concern about collecting anything in social security benefits in future is a separate issue. But, it almost a certainty that as long as he is working full time his income will be higher than it would be drawing SS.


    I drew SS at the earliest opportunity (62) because 1) I had a medical diagnosis indicating a relatively short life expectancy with accelerating deterioration in life quality, 2) could afford to stop working, and 3) did not want to place my clients at risk of needing a replacement at a critical time. The medical diagnosis (by a Fellow of the American College of Physcians and confirmed other Fellows) proved wrong.


    Social security, as a government program, will be around for a very long time. Need for change in the benefit payout has been clear for more than a decade and a reduction in the growth of benefits through inflation indexation has been proposed by members of both parties. It will happen as the alternative could well be revolution, either by the young tired of seeing their earnings siphoned off and making it difficult to feed their own families or by the old who would rather die quickly than starve, die from hypothermia, etc.
    28 Dec 2012, 03:50 PM Reply Like
  • It does go a little deeper than what I suggested. For instance, I believe he will receive more in pension benefits than his current salary and currently the company has been "forcing" vacation time when they are slow and don't have work. So, I think he is just hoping to turn 62 before the company goes kaput.


    The "forced" vacation time is just another factor not being accounted for when looking at unemployment numbe