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  • QuickChat#235, June 19, 2012 328 comments
    Jun 19, 2012 8:22 AM

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    "Harvest Moon" by stan bruns (oil on paper)

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  • QuickChat
    , contributor
    Comments (258) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » COmment from prior QC by LT:

     

    FedEx lowers guidance, and a slew of other companies too such as Danone & JC Penny. I expected this to come & expect more to follow.

     

    Has anyone seen any meat out of the G-20 ? I have not.
    They are trying to present an image of global cooperation, but it appears very weak to me.
    19 Jun 2012, 08:24 AM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2070) | Send Message
     
    Actually, LT and TB, I think their "image of global cooperation" and "disguising the true state of affairs" are also starting to fray. The headlines out of Cabos were as much about Europe not being the sole cause of the global crisis (i.e. pointing at US) and about China and Indonesia "signaling growing exasperation."

     

    But, the G-20 either have it all figured out -- or they have given up completely since they saw no need to keep meeting on the topic of the EU crisis: "An after-dinner meeting of Obama and the leaders of the four participating euro-area countries -- Germany, France, Italy and Spain -- was canceled after summit participants agreed that they had spent enough time on the crisis."http://bloom.bg/Lw2Lo5
    19 Jun 2012, 09:31 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    LT: True. But given that the world is in the early stage of massive trade and currency war, its remarkable how well they are disguising the true state of affairs from the masses.
    19 Jun 2012, 08:26 AM Reply Like
  • Mark Bern, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (4850) | Send Message
     
    "disguising the true state of affairs from the masses."

     

    TB - That is what I believe that the leaders perceive to be their jobs.
    19 Jun 2012, 01:22 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    I have no doubt.
    19 Jun 2012, 01:36 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    12:43 PM Corn futures are getting a charge this week over worries that hot, dry weather in the U.S. Midwest will threaten corn inventories, with July futures +3.5% yesterday and +4.7% midday today. Fertilizer companies jump as the higher likelihood of tight corn supplies next year means farmers will plant more corn, driving up the need for fertilizer: CF +4.8%, POT +4.4%, MOS +3.9%, AGU +3.2%. Comment! [Commodities]
    19 Jun 2012, 12:44 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    Hedge Funds betting that German Bonds sell off :
    http://bit.ly/NOS3cx
    20 Jun 2012, 04:58 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    This could very well happen, but I can also see some ways for the Germans to keep their own bonds segregated from any future eurobond, particularly in the absence of true US of E type fiscal union.

     

    Sometimes these guys outsmart themselves.
    20 Jun 2012, 09:11 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    Why the senate won't touch Dimon - Low US interest rates propped by JPM thru Derivitives :
    http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    Probably a bit of fiction here, with a touch of truth
    20 Jun 2012, 05:03 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    Best article on coal that I have found :
    http://bloom.bg/LzdBJV
    20 Jun 2012, 05:39 AM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2070) | Send Message
     
    Thanks for the article on coal, LT. The author, as former Chairman of the Sierra Club, outlines some interesting factoids. I would argue with two of his references, however.

     

    First, he refers to the popular notion of "cleaner natural gas." Most recently a multi-year study just published in the Journal of Geophysical Research suggests that methane and other chemicals are leaking from gas drilling wells at least at twice the rate reported by industry. So to date when the pollution comparison between coal and nat gas is made at the source of electricity production -- the measurements are not adding or taking into account the doubling of methane and other chemical leakage estimates at the original drilling sites.

     

    At a minimum this latest multi-year research is "the latest volley in an intense estimate war under way in the scientific community about whether natural gas really is cleaner than the coal" and could ultimately either change nat gas production costs for well measurement devices or down the line change the status of coal to the cleaner energy alternative.
    http://n.pr/K09Yci

     

    Also an abstract and additional analysis with embedded links are here: http://bit.ly/Kxw5p4

     

    OR - The 30-author study I referenced above can be purchased for $25 here: http://bit.ly/L6XY9K

     

    Second, the author refers to "cheaper renewables." Perhaps long term -- renewables are ultimately cheaper for our environment - but short and medium term I think he needs to substantiate his assumption of cost efficiency for solar and wind -- especially for emerging markets.

     

    As an investor who thinks about both the short and long term -- I am long producers of oil, coal, nat gas, solar and wind. Short term I think the choice becomes "pick your poison." Longer term I do hope solar and wind prove to be the global promise many of us hope for.
    20 Jun 2012, 07:23 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    I think every month we see that the future is leaning toward wind and solar...example is Japan doing $9 billion in it this year.

     

    Fossil fuels are peaking fast, and the cost is coming closer to parity. Industry is now looking to the future instead of yesterday.

     

    I agree, drillers & NatGas producers have to clean up the drilling process and well burning off excess, but I have also seen progress in both areas now.
    20 Jun 2012, 08:00 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    I think you are right, Mercy.

     

    Underlying this discussion is the assumption that natural gas does not leak naturally from the earth, an odd assumption given that it really IS "natural" gas, and both natural processes and virtually all mining or infrastructure digs will release natural gas. We see the same sort of thinking when talking about ocean "oil spills" when of course natural processes release many times the quantities seen from manmade operations.

     

    More properly, a baseline for leaks from normal aging of the planet should be included, although its probable that this factor (utterly lacking in pc-ness or sexy political function) will not receive much support for the needed research.

     

    Also lacking in these discussions about the well-to-end-use pollution is the same standard applied to the championed alternatives. Turning a blind eye to the creation of radioactive waste, environmental destruction, and industrial toxins produced to create wind turbines and solar panels is disingenuous at best.

     

    As you say, its necessary to pick your poison, and be honest enough to reveal that choice.
    20 Jun 2012, 09:24 AM Reply Like
  • Joseph L. Shaefer
    , contributor
    Comments (1544) | Send Message
     
    Re "effective" US taxpayer annual subsidies of too-big-too-fail, too-venal-to-manage banks via special treatment by creditors and depositors:

     

    Excerpts: "The number is roughly equivalent to the banks' total profits over the past 12 months, or more than the federal government spends per year on education."
    "Like all subsidies, the taxpayer largesse distorts supply. If the government supports corn farmers, you get too much corn. If the government subsidizes banks, you get too much credit." Interesting...

     

    http://on-msn.com/MFd9YB
    20 Jun 2012, 10:22 AM Reply Like
  • Mark Bern, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (4850) | Send Message
     
    The Spanish bailout explained in one image from ZH:

     

    http://bit.ly/Kl2oan
    20 Jun 2012, 01:59 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    King Obama has followed in the foot steps of the disgraced President nixon. http://bit.ly/KN7diA As I recall this action didn't end well for Nixon. http://bit.ly/LBM5Ze I suspect this won't end well for King Obama. For a man who promised the most ethical and transparent administration in history he seems hell bent for leather in duplicating the least ethical and transparent one in history. http://bit.ly/MiMtxw
    20 Jun 2012, 02:40 PM Reply Like
  • Mark Bern, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (4850) | Send Message
     
    Robert - I absolutely agree with you on what "should" happen, but I suspect that this will get buried as much as possible by the MSM and will eventually fade away. The media will do everything it can to sway public sentiment if needed, just as it did on Clinton's behalf. OTOH, I can't help but hope you're right.
    20 Jun 2012, 04:09 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    K202: Greetings. The MSM has been trying to keep this off the front page for months. That hasn't worked and the momentum kept building. This is much bigger than Watergate and I suspect it could end in a similar fashion. This time people died as a result of politically driven criminal activity which the King is desperately trying to cover up. What did he know and when did he know it?
    20 Jun 2012, 06:29 PM Reply Like
  • Mark Bern, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (4850) | Send Message
     
    Robert - I hope you are right. However, I doubt that it will go as far as Watergate because I don't think there is enough time to get an impeachment started before the elections in November. I suspect it will just become a huge campaign issue if Romney decides to use it and does so effectively, especially in debates. The Republicrats don't really care about getting Obama out before November. They just want to control the Presidency and Congress. They just don't seem as vindictive as the Demos.
    20 Jun 2012, 07:01 PM Reply Like
  • Mark Bern, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (4850) | Send Message
     
    Here's a link to an interview with Sam Zell. I like his insight into the housing market toward the end. Enjoy!

     

    http://bit.ly/MjZdUH
    20 Jun 2012, 07:02 PM Reply Like
  • Mark Bern, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (4850) | Send Message
     
    It's here! Again....

     

    http://yhoo.it/NR96uk

     

    And for those who prefer the audio-visual version:

     

    http://bit.ly/NR96up
    20 Jun 2012, 11:50 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5993) | Send Message
     
    80 handle on oil this morning.
    21 Jun 2012, 03:25 AM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    Exploration tract auction in the GOM yesterday. http://bit.ly/MCfpw6 Statoil, Shell and BP were the highest bidders. This item got swallowed up in the political firestorm Voldemort created.
    21 Jun 2012, 11:01 AM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2070) | Send Message
     
    Thanks Robert. And re: Statoil I also posted on StockTalk its plan to triple North American oil/gas output; http://reut.rs/MH7ZLM With oil prices dropping -- we may see more dips on this one.

     

    Also Jim Cramer is now getting religion on Statoil after ignoring it for years and conducted a good interview with STO executive vice president of development and production in North America: http://bit.ly/NcQ3WT

     

    Disclosure: Long and overweight STO
    21 Jun 2012, 11:24 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    The oil sector is once again the largest pile of dry powder in my portfolio (though I am adding TAMO on the dip today, I consider $.17 "cheap" for this one).

     

    STO is on my short list...
    21 Jun 2012, 12:16 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    It's 2012, many years after the "dot-com" bubble burst, 4 years after the great American Financial Crisis. After thousands of IPO's where the little guy either got no shares or if he did get them they crashed in a week. Washington pol's make a critical decision to save the little guy.

     

    4:36 AM A bipartisan group of lawmakers is pushing to overhaul the IPO process, concerned that the current system unfairly punishes small investors. Pointing to the Facebook debut, the group wrote that I-banks are able to "dictate pricing while only indirectly considering market supply-and-demand." 2 Comments
    21 Jun 2012, 05:18 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    Sounds good, but we hear those sorts of sounds emanating from Washington every few years (oddly enough, usually when an election draws nigh...).

     

    And yet, the end result always seems to be to make the hands of the 2Bigs and their henchmen stronger, and the retail investor more vulnerable.

     

    For some reason, I just don't believe them or trust them. When they start talking like this, grab your wallet and run.
    21 Jun 2012, 12:18 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    This is what will finally bring Germany to the table :

     

    3:45 AM Germany flash PMI manufacturing falls to 44.7 in June vs. 45.2 expected and prior. PMI services comes in at 50.3 vs. 51.5 expected and 51.8 prior. It's the steepest drop in German private sector output in three years. Euro reacts to the soft data: -0.4% to $1.2652. (PR) [Breaking News, Global & FX] Comment!
    21 Jun 2012, 05:21 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    Here is more proof how the pol's in washington have intentionally hurt the USA recovery & the people : Take a look at what they asked the Fla. Gov. to do:
    http://bloom.bg/MAXCW0
    21 Jun 2012, 05:40 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    I was asked by a friend in a PM to post this here... it all started with the quote by them beginning to trim holdings in high yielding stocks and saying "things just do not feel right". Below is my response & my wall of worry:

     

    Here is my wall of worry, when you said you were trimming your oil high yielders made me think to send it to you. We are in agreement when you said "something just doesn't feel right". I can't put my finger on it, so I can't prove it, but it is not a normal time for sure.
    ..that has been my dilemma for two months and why I have not been trading anything at all...nada....except selling AXPW, and will sell MSFT this week.
    I think I will just sit on cash for a bit. I can't really range trade when I am in class 3 days a week and really busy in and out the others.
    Worries:
    1. Companies have maxed out dividends this year with increases
    this tells me the rich that control them are raising cash and taking cash out of the company too.
    2. Earnings and guidance is coming from everyone lower. Even Proctor & Gamble. Not good for stock prices.
    3. EZ is a disaster as we have already worn out, and I do not see a fix on the horizon.
    4. No political will here in the USA to get together and do what is right for america. Consumer debt is not the answer, bank lending helps, but too much debt to the consumer does not work now.
    5. Oil as a leading indicator, looks bad. I can't figure out how much of this is the higher mileage cars and alt. energy though, I think this is amounting to more than we know.
    6. Utilities peaking out now, I can't make a call on these, I am getting over 5% in dividend yield, but SO was downgraded to neutral on valuation today and yesterday by two diff brokerages. So the price drop to follow probably offsets the dividend.
    Same with AEP.
    7. Bottom line is anything that is a high yielder is so high now that the drop in price will offset yield, same way with S&P dividend stocks too.
    8. Industrial leaders like DE, CAT, CMI are no longer leading, in fact down 20-30%. The buildout of ASIA is over. Except India and they can't get it right there either.
    9. Inability of the Fed & Washington to form a plan together to combine stimulus along with the fiscal things that need fixing. Probably won't happen next year either.
    10. HFT's have no one but themselves and competitors to sell to, or trade with. I have a "feeling" that Wall St. is going to pay a big price soon. It won't recover this time like the last. This won't end well IMO.

     

    Disclosure: I have sold 33% of my AXPW holdings and still hold way too many shares. Long MSFT for now, looking for an exit point in the near future just to raise cash and have dry powder. Although i think both of these go higher longer term.
    21 Jun 2012, 08:21 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    10:16 AM Spain will release the results of the independent audits of its banking system at 5.30 pm local time, or 11.30 am ET. The analysis, by consultancies Roland Berger and Oliver Wyman, will show that the banks need anywhere from €65B-€150B to recapitalize, depending on which report you believe. [Global & FX] Comment!
    21 Jun 2012, 10:47 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    I would recommend watching this closely... and did you see that the analyst fixed it where they can't miss? $65-150 ? gimme a break.

     

    That is worse than predicting growth still when they know everything has been slow for 60 days. Info is just skewed and manipulated for me to think about a real trade, much less investment.
    21 Jun 2012, 10:49 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    http://yhoo.it/KBlY6V

     

    Thanks to the wonderful folks at GS for today's flashy crashy.

     

    It must be wonderful to be able to announce the short bet you just made, and your announcement alone makes it come true.
    21 Jun 2012, 02:05 PM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2070) | Send Message
     
    Thanks TB -- GS never ceases to amaze me. It is a bit humorous, however, that their call to short the market is on the same day Moody's is poised to downgrade banks and securities firms. Hmmm ... maybe they know something we don't yet. http://bloom.bg/MD8oLi
    21 Jun 2012, 02:56 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    they always know ahead of time so they can make their bets early.
    21 Jun 2012, 03:19 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5993) | Send Message
     
    78 handle on oil. Wiskers will start twitching with a 75 handle.
    21 Jun 2012, 04:06 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    $79 set mine off, FPA...

     

    STO is looking like a prize winner right now, for the big oil slot with some dividends...

     

    Marathon for the middle rank?
    21 Jun 2012, 04:12 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    I am in agreement, I think the drop in oil is political, the world would like the US economy to do better....what better way than knock off a dollar on gas ? $75 oil should be a buy or the oil stocks either one.

     

    I think if oil was really going to stay cheap for 4 years, then XOM & CVX stock prices would have already reflected it. When it comes to large caps like this, the market does know well ahead of time. Look at CAT...already way down for months.
    21 Jun 2012, 06:26 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    http://yhoo.it/O01EhW

     

    I'm thinking contrarian on this topic, after mulling it over for several days...

     

    I believe the downgrades have been mostly baked into the bank stocks, and the markets in general, and the end of this 4 month long agonizing wait (lord help us, Moody's promised to do this staring FEBRUARY 15th!) could well see a relief rally as we can finally put the months of speculation to bed.

     

    Its like however Greece eventually turns out...

     

    Lots of people will be glad its over the day after.
    21 Jun 2012, 04:24 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    TB, I agree, the banks could have one more drop, and if so I would buy the banks. Fast Money had a good entry on Citigroup at $20. I don't think it goes that low.

     

    Everyone knew the downgrades were coming, but really no one cares. It is the slow growth that matters.

     

    Positives are out there, US banks are well capitalized now, they are supposedly hedged or have reduced exposure to Greece, and Housing has bottomed it appears. I know for a fact that BB&T is making a killing doing nothing but re-fi in housing to qualified borrowers. I wouldn't buy it, but if JPM overcomes the loss on their latest fiasco they are cheap. I think C & WFC are too, I would beware of the high flyers such as PNC, etc that have outperformed. They may be nearing a top and go flat while the other beaten down ones catch up.
    21 Jun 2012, 06:23 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    Has anyone seen the downgrades yet? They were supposed to be released about now...

     

    What we have to watch for are surprises. Banks which Moody hinted would lose one slot, dropping two... or three. MS is rumored to be expecting a nasty 3 slot drop, but then their stock is already beaten down from that expectation. If they only get a 1 or 2 slot drop, will that mean a bounce for them?

     

    Wacky stuff.

     

    I hate the rating agencies AND the 2Bigs. Too bad they can't just kill each other off simultaneously.
    21 Jun 2012, 06:31 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    They are out, MS got downed two notches. MS has already responded saying "they did not take into consideration the steps we have already taken to strengthen out position". I do not like the MS CEO over what he said about the FB IPO. They could be making them pay a bit over that.
    21 Jun 2012, 06:34 PM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2070) | Send Message
     
    TB here they are: http://bloom.bg/PD8Qh2

     

    Biggest surprises -- MS downgraded "only" 2 notches and Credit Suisse got dropped 3 levels.
    21 Jun 2012, 06:36 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    Thanks Mercy. I have been run ragged here lately. If I have been short with anyone, I apologize.
    21 Jun 2012, 06:43 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5993) | Send Message
     
    They are over on ZeroHedge...
    21 Jun 2012, 06:50 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    OK, as for oil...

     

    I like both STO and MRO.

     

    STO closed at $22.80, just above its 6 month low of $22.15. I suspect it might drop just a little more in the morning, I'm thinking it might be around $22.40 for a good buy. (Div 3.8%)

     

    MRO closed at $23.32, a 6 month low. I will be trying to get a little lower price, but would like $23.xx just fine. (Div 2.7%)
    21 Jun 2012, 09:32 PM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2070) | Send Message
     
    TB,
    A couple of thoughts FWIW on oil producers.

     

    STATOIL (STO):
    If you watch for potential Statoil entry -- be aware that it is often helpful to watch the price action in Oslo where the larger volume liquidity is. It can often offer a better glimpse of the opening price range than the US premarket price spread can. For those whose brokers don't have foreign exchange quotes, the delayed quotes for STL:NO on Bloomberg may be helpful.

     

    Be aware that yesterday I had a Stocktalk exchange in which one party thought STO could go as low as $16 pps (LOL) http://bit.ly/Kpu2Tp That would be a dream of an entry all right -- but I tend to add to my current holding anytime it gets near $20-21 (I buy on both the US and Oslo exchanges.)

     

    TOTAL (TOT):
    Some may also want to research Total which is currently near its 52-week low and has been battered by association with the EU. Its dividend is now around 7%. For my own accounts I find this one attractive in the $41-42 range. Using the same principle I described above -- I like to look at the price action for Total in the UK -- TTA:GB (where it has the highest global volume liquidity) which often gives me a better read than premarket US action. For further research here's a recent article on Total by an author I respect: http://bit.ly/Lnyrup
    22 Jun 2012, 07:52 AM Reply Like
  • Joseph L. Shaefer
    , contributor
    Comments (1544) | Send Message
     
    Total is selling for less than it did in 2008-2009.
    STO is nearly 10 points higher than that mark, but is a vastly different company with significantly better prospects today.

     

    We are hedged in this market, but our downside positions are in "the market" -- SH, SBB, RWM, etc. Our long positions are not ETFs but companies I believe offer enduring value -- like TOT and STO at these pprices and below. "Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer chances." I think these two are well worth the money.
    22 Jun 2012, 11:21 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    Thanks guys.

     

    I nabbed some MRO at 23.20... Lurking with STO at 22.48...
    22 Jun 2012, 12:17 PM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2070) | Send Message
     
    One more item of interest on Statoil: some stock pickers see it as a great way to play an expected nat gas price pick-up: "The company [Statoil] has the export infrastructure in place to ship liquefied natural gas—the company’s Snoehvit plant, capable of liquefying 5.8 billion cubic meters a year, is the only LNG production facility in Europe. And recently the company has signed a deal to buy into exploration permits in Australia’s Northern Territories. Australia is on a path to become a major platform for the export of liquefied natural gas to Asia by 2015."
    http://bit.ly/KRIWbi
    22 Jun 2012, 12:48 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    Yes, I believe that in years to come possessing LNG (and other liquified gas product) capacity and knowledge will make or break the oil companies.

     

    Too bad they didn't build Snoehvit in the US...

     

    Or Australia (since they have a potential source to tap there).
    22 Jun 2012, 01:09 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    I'm playing the north American side of it with (ETE).
    22 Jun 2012, 01:11 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    I am also reviewing silver plays, particularly silver miners and streamers. I am well familiar with SLW... Closed at 26.53, attractive, but I would like something closer to $25 for entry (Div 1.3%).

     

    AG still looks good to me, particularly since silver is down lately much more than Gold (18% for Gold vs 42% for Silver). AG closed at $14.72, with a strong drop today, but is still trading well above its recent 6 month low of $12.40. I believe $14.72 is a good buy, but I would love to pick it up even cheaper, say around $13.50
    21 Jun 2012, 09:40 PM Reply Like
  • jpau
    , contributor
    Comments (822) | Send Message
     
    How do you feel about CDE?
    22 Jun 2012, 01:29 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    I had CDE for a while back when I was heavily into the silver miners, but it was not a personal favorite. I think it would be attractive a little cheaper than current pricing, say high $16's, 16.80-ish.

     

    I am monitoring SLW and AG, both of whom are down today, but still not quite where I want the price just yet...
    22 Jun 2012, 12:21 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    We haven't even been talking about the Bernank lately. Any comments on extending "Twist" another $287b? How about the hint to start buying more goodies (Freddie and Fannie toxic waste?) to add to the Fed balance sheet? Even equities?

     

    http://onforb.es/MxIXyM

     

    Could this have prompted GS launching their torpedo into a market disoriented the Fed continuing along its drunkard's walk path?
    21 Jun 2012, 10:05 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    The $289 billion is probably just reinvesting of money they have collected from the system back into the system, Probably not new money because it was reported they actually shrank the money supply this year at what would be a 10% annual rate if continued. I don't see much effect here in a big way.

     

    I can see Bernanke doing the toxic housing ... Especially with home prices increasing, and the demand is up. He is probably waiting to see if the trend continues before he risks it. Things are going pretty good around here TB and seems to be improving in a larger area. Remember the article I posted where the Iowa governor & about 5 others wanted Romney to get off the bad economy because theirs was doing well ? Iowa unemployment rate is 5.1%
    21 Jun 2012, 10:15 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    Fast Money says MS is a screaming buy after the downgrade:
    http://bit.ly/MxMMEh
    21 Jun 2012, 10:28 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5993) | Send Message
     
    77 handle on oil this morning.
    22 Jun 2012, 03:31 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    4:04 AM Once plagued by budget delays, California is set to pass the new FY program on time for the second year in a row after a deal yesterday between Governor Jerry Brown and legislators. The $92B agreement, a mix of spending cuts and a tax hike, plugs a $16B deficit and should improve California's reputation amongst muni-bond investors. [U.S. Economy] Comment!
    22 Jun 2012, 06:22 AM Reply Like
  • Stilldazed
    , contributor
    Comments (2126) | Send Message
     
    Yeah, the tax hike hasn't been approved by voters yet.
    22 Jun 2012, 07:04 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    I still like the idea of selling California to Greece.

     

    We could use the drachmas as cellulose feedstock for ethanol production and still come out ahead...
    22 Jun 2012, 12:26 PM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2169) | Send Message
     
    I'll believe it when the votes are counted.

     

    Personally, I still think the Granola state will vote for no new taxes and no service/welfare cuts. Voice of the people is always right!
    23 Jun 2012, 12:47 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    Goldman could be trying to put pressure on the Fed by shorting the mkt.

     

    7:24 AM Markets are killing the chance for QE3 by frontrunning the action (continually bouncing on hope of Fed action). The "liquidity put" will only get triggered at substantially lower levels, says Citi's Mohammed Apabhai. He sees 1,285 in the S&P as a key technical level (S&P is currently 1,325) and additional QE coming only if the market were to decline 12% from here. 1 Comment
    22 Jun 2012, 07:42 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    This bothers me more than anything else discussed here:

     

    Big Name Profit Warnings Worsen:

     

    http://bit.ly/NrgLhQ
    22 Jun 2012, 09:31 AM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2070) | Send Message
     
    Really good discussion (for those interested) in the comment thread under Eric Parnell's latest article re: what happens to the Fed balance sheet as it loads up on longer term treasuries if interest rates rise: "if the FED is loading up on long-term treasury bonds, an interest rate rise will lead to capital losses. Meaning, the balance sheet of the FED becomes impaired. Theoretically, if the holdings of the FED become worthless for whatever reason, its balance sheet could drop to zero. Then, the only way to "recapitalize" the FED is for it to print money. " http://seekingalpha.co...
    22 Jun 2012, 01:47 PM Reply Like
  • Mark Bern, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (4850) | Send Message
     
    Mercy - Thanks for the link. I wonder if the importance is more a matter of tying the hands of the Fed rather than having to print? My thought is that the Fed will need to unwind its positions quickly if, as it has indicated in the past that it would, the economy begins to perform better and inflation begins to rise. If interest rates rise too quickly, the assets become impaired. Does this force the Fed to sell at a loss or hold the assets to maturity in order to avoid the loss? If the Fed opts to hold the assets, leaving the money supply at historic levels, inflation would really take off. It seems to me that the Fed has painted itself into the corner across the room from the door with no way out!
    22 Jun 2012, 03:59 PM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2070) | Send Message
     
    Very well said K202. I liked the discussion thread because it played out the potential scenario being cultivated by Fed actions. Furthermore, the short-term nature of the latest "Twist" (through EOY) is raising further fear that the Fed has created a Monetary Cliff to complement the Fiscal Cliff at the end of 2012: http://bloom.bg/NsHt9K
    22 Jun 2012, 04:12 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4135) | Send Message
     
    "I wonder if the importance is more a matter of tying the hands of the Fed rather than having to print?"

     

    I haven't read the article linked by MJ so this is entirely reaction to MJ remarks and the question posed in response. My feeling will not be hurt if anyone finds them "space cadet" material and so notes in response.

     

    Seems to me the Fed restricts its possible range of future action any time it takes an action. Buying boatloads of Treasuries entails future value risks as discussed, but other tools are available to constrain credit expansion in response to rising inflation. Two conspicuous tools are 1) raising interest rates paid on reserves held at the Fed and 2) application of the meat cleaver -- increase reserve requirements.
    22 Jun 2012, 04:51 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    I am not sure that the fed holding maturities till they mature is inflationary. There was a day that it would have been. Remember, there was $50 trillion in wealth lost, Even right now when they stop the money flow things grind to a halt.
    It will take banks another 5+ years to meet capital requirements.
    Slowdown in the EZ and China is also a damper. Baby boomers are half the population and are no longer fueling the economy.

     

    There is just too many factors that have changed forever, therefore skewing the numbers and some useful forms of measurements in the past will not play out the same now.
    22 Jun 2012, 05:02 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5993) | Send Message
     
    I bought some gold miners today - (EGO) and (AUY).
    22 Jun 2012, 04:24 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    I am holding fast to my Sandstorm, but otherwise, no gold miners or etfs... Moving toward silver. Typical move for me when things are down and looking dark, I seek out the most downtrodden in the group...

     

    Of course, I haven't actually BOUGHT any yet, but today they dipped even closer to my goals.

     

    I'm sort of surprised it has taken this long during this time of correction and chaos for me to finally see them getting down where I want them. They briefly dipped low enough, but I was looking for confirmation than, and indeed, did NOT get it (they had a bounce instead). This COULD happen again, but we'll see...
    22 Jun 2012, 04:32 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    Have a great week end all. I picked up some LYSDY and some GWMGF at the close today @$0.95 and $0.42 respectively.
    22 Jun 2012, 05:03 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    $289 + 156 = $445 billion going into the global economy...(US +EZ)

     

    Comments on how much that will stimulate growth
    22 Jun 2012, 05:45 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    As always, a lot depends on WHERE the money goes. If all it does is get parked in 2Bigs still mooing vacantly in the Fed's zombie paddock, or trickle into the $carry trade, the answer is "not much".

     

    This is one reason I frequently have to resist banging my head on the nearest wall whenever I see someone in Washington (or elsewhere) congratulating themselves that "...inflation is low, its not a problem..."

     

    Killing an economy via slow cannibalism IS one way to forestall inflation, but it strikes me as a particularly gruesome and stupid choice.

     

    Good grief, it takes a non-zombified economy TO ignite inflation. Given our situation, I would be encouraged to SEE some nice, nasty inflation caused by too may buyers of something chasing too few sellers!

     

    I see two rough choices here: Institutionalized 20% unemployment in a flatline economy living for decades on life support and the doubtful kindness of slavering wolves vs some actual interest rates paid for savings, and maybe some job creation. Sure, the result would be some inflation which just might be quite a headache for a certain organization which theoretically exists to address that very issue... And we would probably have to revisit the issue of 2Bigs that need to either get religion or get chopped down to mere mortal size.
    22 Jun 2012, 06:00 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    "I would be encouraged to SEE some nice, nasty inflation caused by too may buyers of something chasing too few sellers!"

     

    I agree totally, and it's what I said in '08 & '09. A good dose of 10% inflation would be the true sign of a turn around.
    23 Jun 2012, 06:51 AM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    This is an executive order dated March 16 2012. It's interesting insofar as it further consolidates power into the executive branch. Part II Priorities & Allocations section b is especially instructive as it allows for this power of total control to be exercised in NON-EMERGENCY conditions. Is this scary or should I order a little tin hat from H.T.Love? http://1.usa.gov/x1KgKR
    22 Jun 2012, 08:26 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    No, it is scary, robert. A Constitutional crisis waiting to happen.
    22 Jun 2012, 08:33 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17872) | Send Message
     
    This is where the ACLU should spend its time. Freedoms are lost through erosion. The power allocated to the states and individuals has been eroded away and subtly transferred to a central authority.

     

    We are allowing the creation a politburo in all but name. As with the politburo, the power of the military, and civil authorities subsumed by power of the central authority (possibly via the TSA authority and Patriot Act?), will enforce the edicts of that authority on the population at large.

     

    The congress is already an almost-useless vestige of times past. Actions such as this, unchallenged, will eventually eliminate the need for it (and the SCOTUS) altogether.

     

    Tyranny on the horizon. You are aware that the TSA is now authorized to establish roadblocks and searches anywhere anytime on public roads without warrants or cause?

     

    HardToLove
    22 Jun 2012, 09:10 PM Reply Like
  • Mark Bern, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (4850) | Send Message
     
    If only they would now apply this to the stockpiling of REEs and development of production of REEs in the U.S. and nations considered to be allies of the U.S.

     

    Sec. 306. Strategic and Critical Materials. The Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of the Interior in consultation with the Secretary of Defense as the National Defense Stockpile Manager, are each delegated the authority of the President under section 303(a)(1)(B) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2093(a)(1)(B), to encourage the exploration, development, and mining of strategic and critical materials and other materials.
    22 Jun 2012, 11:29 PM Reply Like
  • Mark Bern, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (4850) | Send Message
     
    HTL - It all depends on to whom the powers are lost as to whether there is interest in defending freedoms by the ACLU.

     

    My questions: Why this broad control of defense and preparedness? Why now? What does the President know that we're not being told that would prompt such and order? This adds to the scariness, imho.
    22 Jun 2012, 11:32 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17872) | Send Message
     
    IMHO, "Why this broad control of defense and preparedness? Why now?" is answered most easily by the expectation of civil unrest. Other scenarios seem logistically more difficult to envision.

     

    I also have several "tin-foil hat" scenarios that I can easily imagine given the absolute central authority over all resources needed by society.

     

    Ignoring those ...

     

    There need be no "event" or "what he knows". There's always "good ideas" how to be "more effective" for any area of interest.

     

    Civil police gravitate to more militaristic behavior over time (the larger the area of operation, the more likely) as their primary concern is maintenance of order, not protection of civil liberties.

     

    Our "Ofiice of ... Preparedness" is likewise unconcerned with liberties - only with a response which maintains order in case of an "event". Insert "tin-foil hat" scenario of your choice here.

     

    The "neat" thing about these sorts of small erosions giving new and more powerful "tools" is that once in place they *will* be abused sooner or later. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind about that.

     

    The aggregate effect of these thousands of small (apparently innocuous) steps (in the name of safety, usually in our case) is "death by a thousand cuts". It is how empires have been felled over history. First they are weakened and then some sequence of "events" provides the fatal blows.

     

    MHO,
    HardToLove
    23 Jun 2012, 09:29 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    MolyCorp has quietly guaranteed the DOD about 7kt of rare earths set aside just for them, including some of the more critical elements. Since this represents about 100% of their estimated capacity for some of these elements, this would indicate that the DOD has first dibs, and everyone else is just in a tough spot...

     

    But this would explain the abrupt lack of interest in RESTART.

     

    What is perhaps most ironic is the fact that many determined observers (like myself, for example) believe that MCP will be very late and over-budget with Phoenix, and disappoint the DOD along with many other customers.
    23 Jun 2012, 06:00 PM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2070) | Send Message
     
    3 hours ago Syrian military says it downed Turkish fighter jet and Turkey says it will respond decisively: http://bbc.in/KE1f2p
    22 Jun 2012, 09:16 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    Very serious situation. Reports of Turkish and Arab Union troops moving toward the Syrian border have been circulating for months...

     

    Taken from the Debka Files, June 15: [quote] A Russian special forces unit is on its way to Syria to guard Russian’s deep-water port at Tartus, Pentagon officials reported Friday, June 15. According to DEBKAfile’s sources, it is made up of naval marines.

     

    In a separate statement, US Defense Department sources in Washington reported that the US military had completed its planning for various operations against Syria including a no-fly zone - or for assisting neighboring countries in the event action was ordered – a reference, according to our sources, to Turkey, Jordan and Israel.

     

    The two steps move the Syrian civil conflict onto a new plane of major power intervention. [quote]

     

    June 17: [quote] Amid the worsening violence in Syria, US official sources said Saturday, June 16, that US intervention was not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ and defined its format as “Libya lite.”

     

    Pentagon officials earlier reported a Russian contingent was on its way to Syria to guard the Russian base at Tartus. As the Syrian civil conflict mounted onto the new plane of major power intervention, Maj. Gen. Robert Mood announced that the UN observer mission he heads had suspended activities and patrols.

     

    Moscow is using the time up until Russian President Vladimir Putin faces US President Barack Obama across the G20 conference table in Los Cabos, Mexico Sunday, June 17 to ship sophisticated anti-air, anti-ship arms to Syria which are capable of thwarting a no-fly zone. A fleet of Russian warships is heading for Tartus. If the two presidents come to terms on Syria and Iran, planned US and allied intervention in Syria may be delayed [quote]

     

    June 18: [quote] Military tensions around Syria shot up again Monday, June 18, with Iranian report hat a joint Russian-Chinese-Iranian exercise is to take place in Syria, called “the biggest of its kind ever staged in the Middle East” with 90,000 personnel, 400 air planes and 900 tanks taking part. DEBKAfile: This would be the first time Russia and China have deployed substantial military strength in the Middle East. It points to their determination to deter a US-lead military operation against the Assad regime. This was signaled shortly before the US and Russian presidents were to meet at the G20 summit..

     

    As part of its preparations, Beijing is reported to have asked Egyptian authorities to permit the passage through the Suez Canal in late June of 12 naval ships heading for the Syrian port of Tartus, where Moscow maintains a naval and marine base. DEBKAfile reported earlier this week that Russian naval vessels with marines on board were heading for Tartus. [quote]

     

    June 19: [quote] The failure of US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin Monday, at the G20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico to agree on terms for Syria and Iran holds the potential for three equally dire scenarios to unfold in Syria:
    It could degenerate into another Afghanistan; or another Balkans, or al Qaeda’s next war arena – or all three.

     

    The Assad regime is not just shedding blood but bleeding itself, but it stays alive because 40 percent of the Syrian population is behind it and the rebel movement is deeply fractured. Syria is therefore in the process of breaking up into three balkanized segments: The United States and its European and Arab allies in the northern, central and eastern regions; The Russians, along the Mediterranean coastal strip. Russian warships are on their way to secure their base at Tartus and Iran plus Hizballah in Damascus.
    Al Qaeda has begun seeping through the cracks to achieve its object of corralling America and Russia on one unruly territory. [quote]
    22 Jun 2012, 09:35 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    Crap. This could blow up...

     

    But the good news is, I went long Marathon Oil and TAMO this week

     

    Good background piece, note the fact that Turkey has been blocking weapons from flowing to the Syrian rebels... Up until now. I believe this might be about to change...
    22 Jun 2012, 09:40 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    http://bbc.in/Lqc7lT
    23 Jun 2012, 06:01 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    The best summary of the up coming Supreme court ruling I have read.
    http://bloom.bg/MeHNJT
    23 Jun 2012, 07:41 AM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    I suspect that they may well find the mandate unconstitutional and since there is no severability built into the legislation send the congress back to the drawing board. This would allow them the ability not to examine any of the other aspects of the law.
    23 Jun 2012, 02:25 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    4:39 AM Australia's 30% mining tax is going to be a bit of a bust, predicts UBS, but it's still going to hit corporate earnings. The bank estimates that the tax will generate A$3.2B in FY 2013 and 2014, under half the Treasury's forecast of $6.5B. And citing the mining and carbon charges, the bank cut its profit estimate for BHP and Rio Tinto (RIO) by 4%. [Commodities, Earnings] Comment!
    24 Jun 2012, 07:17 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    Here's the big picture for the Aussie mine tax, cap and tax, etc:

     

    Government sets the taxes in place and budgets the new revenue as if it already exists. The selling of the idea is always a zero sum exercise, ie, the miners are generating xbillion now, and the new 30% tax will give the polilticians xbillion to buy xmillion of votes and fullfill xbillion in spending on moonbeams and fairy dust solutions along the way.

     

    The reality happens (note that this event does NOT coincide with the politicians realizing it has happened, that comes much later). The corporations hit with the new tax ax react by ceasing new investment, canceling projects, and laying off Australians (while simultaneously diverting capital and jobs to more business-friendly opportunities in foreign lands). Steps are taken to exploit loopholes (they always seem to be there) and to shelter assets and income from the new taxes. Profits and productivity drop, so income from the pre-existing tax structure drops (note that this article does not examine this, but instead refers to the new tax revenue as if it's coming in lower than expected were the only problem).

     

    Australia will be fortunate if the new tax load does not actually net out a negative number overall. Long term I suspect that it will. There is a lag as the targeted businesses react to the new environment, so SOME additional revenues will flow as they make their decisive moves over the coming year.

     

    What may be highly comical will be the reaction of the politicians who have made outlandish promises and projections based upon the expected (vs real) revenue growth. Attacks upon the mining companies will be the early approach, accusing them of "cheating" and lacking "loyalty". Capital controls (and yes, we have these noxious things in place here, for the same reasons too) will be installed to stop the flow of capital fleeing the high taxes. The smarter companies will, of course, already know this and will act promptly (from the news reports, this process is already in high gear). The more stupid will, like all laggards in any herd, be meat for the wolves.

     

    The final act will include scenes of the remaining mining activity brought down by lack of orders as major customers gravitate to lower cost supplies (United States coal and iron is already benefitting from this process in its early stages) and Australian mines become non-competitive.

     

    Ultimately the high-flying hard left government is likely to lose its popular backing, and we might see a strong shift in sentiment in the next major election...
    24 Jun 2012, 07:56 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    Australia in many ways is where Spain was 10 years ago. Spain had to learn their lesson the hard way, and it would appear obvious that Australia will too...

     

    After all, who really believes that old guy over there telling us that tall story about the results of urinating on the electric fence? Say, let's all try it and prove him wrong...
    26 Jun 2012, 06:24 PM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2169) | Send Message
     
    trip: There is another unintended consequence I see. Oz has a major property/housing bubble going on. It's partly driven by high wages in the mining industries. The bubble should have deflated in 07-09, but the gov pumped in money in the usual attempt to keep political power thru "good times" vote getting.

     

    Take away the minerals export stimulus and there is no way to keep the bubble alive. Even free money won't make people buy/build houses when resale values decline. Oh yeah, there is no personal bankruptcy law in Oz covering residential housing loans. If you walk, you still owe all of the loan payments. How long do the banks pretend those loans are good? Can the defaulted "owner" get a job without having his wages attached to pay the loan? This could drive an underground economy that pays NO income taxes.

     

    Oz banks are heavily into real estate loans, both corporate and private. Guess what happens to their profits and book value when the prices slide?

     

    So, if you are correct about the mining industry decline, the housing bubble WILL deflate. Maybe 1.5 years before the recession gets going? And so it goes.
    1 Jul 2012, 12:55 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    Ag Commodities:
    A while back we talked about farm commodities...Corn, Wheat, Soybeans...
    I mentioned that good weather would send prices lower, and that happened with a wonderful early spring planting.
    But now the weather is hot and dry...no rain in sight. Corn is at a critical point right not, it is two weeks ahead of the normal growing schedule and is already hurt in KY, TN, IN....not sure about Iowa, Illinois and Ohio yet...prices began to inch up last week as a result. Rain is also forecast there this week, watch it closely.
    As I mentioned earlier, There is some irreparable damage already to part of the crop. Another week and it becomes severe. More than enough to offset increased acres planted.
    Soybeans have a few weeks yet.
    I am considering going long farm commodities if no rain not he forecast Monday morning. Rain in the forecast would be time to short again.
    24 Jun 2012, 07:33 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    TEVA gains on favorable patent ruling

     

    http://bloom.bg/O9ZVFG
    24 Jun 2012, 07:50 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    I think one thing that has / is causing resistance to this other than derivatives is that our banks are & have been sending a lot of capital to the EZ. They are probably making better spreads there. But it is hurting US growth in the process. It is a round about way to fund the EZ....There is a comment in SA's market comments this weekend.

     

    The below move would help US homeowners ... the public needs access to these zero% loans like the banks and corps. Take it one step further, these people can NOT refi - so even if we didn't write off the loss on the loan but let them refi at say 3-4% instead of the 6% they are paying it would be a huge boost. Banks will never do it. TBTF banks would benefit tremendously as they would immediately off load many bad loans.

     

    6:10 AM Robert Shiller backs a proposal from Cornell's Robert Hockett for local or federal governments to seize underwater mortgages, pay them off at fair value with money from new investors, and issue new loans with smaller balances to the homeowners, who would then be less likely to default. 9 Comments [U.S. Economy, Financials]
    24 Jun 2012, 08:41 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    Here is the link to the article on :

     

    US banks supplying Europe:
    http://seekingalpha.co...
    24 Jun 2012, 08:53 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    New disclosures on U.S. lawmakers' stock trading
    http://on.mktw.net/KGS7di
    24 Jun 2012, 02:27 PM Reply Like
  • Joseph L. Shaefer
    , contributor
    Comments (1544) | Send Message
     
    This does not approach the weight of yet another new EO. But it speaks to the arrogance and narcissism that makes a plethora of EOs the way to "govern." I assumed the following was something from The Onion or at least the work of some hacker. But, no, it's still there a week later, right on the Re-elect Me website...

     

    http://bit.ly/MIcNRq
    24 Jun 2012, 07:06 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    Deadly Bird Flu has only 5 mutations to spread airborne to humans:

     

    http://bloom.bg/Mla27L

     

    There are only two flu drugs at present. Roche's "Tamiflu" and BioCryst (BCRX) is biotech that has another drug (peramavir i think)

     

    The article says the flu that spread to animals is susceptible to Tamiflu, but there have always been questions if Tamiflu really worked on flu like H1N1. The BCRX drug is supposedly better. BCRX gained about a dollar/share in the past week or so and I imagine these findings is why. Disclosure, I have traded BCRX but have no position in either co. at present. However it & further studies on this flu bares watching.
    24 Jun 2012, 08:59 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17872) | Send Message
     
    LT: I think FocalPoint Analytics would welcome this post in his latest concentrator.

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    HardToLove
    25 Jun 2012, 06:17 AM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4135) | Send Message
     
    http://tinyurl.com/7k6...
    "SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co, the world's biggest smartphone maker, expects cumulative sales of its latest smartphone Galaxy S III to top 10 million units during July, JK Shin, head of its telecommunications business, said on Monday."

     

    If the projection is on mark, Samsung will have sold 10 million units in 60 days or less. I am interested in sales of the device because of its AMOLED display screen built under PANL licenses with PANL supplied chemicals. If the projection is on mark, Samsung will have sold 10 million units in 60 days or less in direct, head-to-head competition against Apple's iphone (which uses a different display technology).

     

    PANL share price ($32.35) was up nearly 4% Friday in apparent response to a Deutsche Bank analyst's "upgrade" with price target of $45. Personally think the one year share price potential is more on the order of $55 - $60.
    25 Jun 2012, 12:11 AM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2070) | Send Message
     
    D-Inv, I was not familiar with PANL or the fact that they were behind the Galaxy. Thanks very much for the research idea -- I will check them out.

     

    mj
    25 Jun 2012, 07:03 AM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2070) | Send Message
     
    D-Inv -- PANL up nearly 10% today. Very nice call indeed!
    27 Jun 2012, 04:04 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4135) | Send Message
     
    Thanks, MJ. Will be interested to hear T, VZ outlooks in earning reports next month. OLED TVs, white lighting devices to come.
    27 Jun 2012, 09:33 PM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2070) | Send Message
     
    D-Inv, FYI Don't know how "preliminary" this injunction may be -- but do you think it will impact the Samsung (PANL) volumes if upheld??

     

    6:23 PM U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh has granted Apple (AAPL) a preliminary injunction on U.S. sales of Samsung's (SSNLF.PK) Galaxy Nexus phone, which it co-developed with Google (GOOG). The ruling comes two days after a preliminary injunction was granted on sales of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1. A recent William Blair report claimed the Galaxy Nexus has been Verizon's #3 phone in June. An Apple patent covering unified voice and text search drew the injunction. [Tech] 8 Comments
    29 Jun 2012, 08:25 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4135) | Send Message
     
    Definitely something to look into, MJ. I do have questions. The text you quote refers to Galaxy Nexus phone. Another news blurb (http://tinyurl.com/cnz...) mentions a different device, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer, affected by a judicial order issued by the same judge late Tuesday. Neither mentions the Galaxy S3 phone mentioned in the News blurb I reported on here. More than one injunction could be involved and the same court may be considering additional pleadings. Need to put hands on the Apple pleadings and court findings to date.

     

    Meanwhile, the market valued PANL 3.4% higher today.
    29 Jun 2012, 10:21 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4135) | Send Message
     
    Judge Koh is hearing two separate Apple-Samsung patent cases. Orders were issued by the court in both cases yesterday. The order preliminarily enjoining Samsung from sales etc. of Galaxy Nexus requires Apple to post a $95.6 million bond to effectuate the preliminary injunction.

     

    Koh also issued an order on the second case yesterday that denied Apple requests for summary judgment against validity of two Samsung patents.

     

    AAPL was up 2.6% yesterday; PANL was up 3.6%;
    SSNLF.PK up 1.0%
    30 Jun 2012, 12:13 PM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2070) | Send Message
     
    Thanks D-Inv!
    30 Jun 2012, 01:27 PM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2070) | Send Message
     
    FWIW Speculation that Galaxy S3 could receive same treatment:

     

    9:51 AM Samsung Electronics (SSNLF.PK) shares fell 2.3% on the Seoul exchange after the Galaxy Nexus was hit with a U.S. ban ahead of an upcoming trial with Apple (AAPL). Fears are up that the flagship Galaxy S III could receive similar treatment, given it appears to run afoul of the same Apple patent covering the "innovation" of being able to search via voice or text through the same interface. Samsung, unsurprisingly, is appealing the Nexus ruling.
    2 Jul 2012, 09:59 AM Reply Like
  • Stilldazed
    , contributor
    Comments (2126) | Send Message
     
    MJ,
    I am surprised APPL hasn't sued Nuance Dragon Naturally Speaking, maybe because they have been doing that since before the iPods and other iThingies came out.
    2 Jul 2012, 10:58 AM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2070) | Send Message
     
    Agree Stilldazed; I'm assuming Apple is leaving their massive legal fire power for other small fish they want to fry first! :-))
    2 Jul 2012, 11:03 AM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4135) | Send Message
     
    :-) Nuance doesn't marketing electronic devices does it?
    2 Jul 2012, 12:41 PM Reply Like
  • Stilldazed
    , contributor
    Comments (2126) | Send Message
     
    Hi D,
    As far as I know, Nuance is software only. APPL doesn't seem to discriminate much between the two when it comes to law suits (Software or hardware) if they can intimidate or slow introduction of someone else's product.
    2 Jul 2012, 01:37 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    Central Banks Commit To Ease As Threat Of Lost Decades Rises
    By Simon Kennedy and Rich Miller - Jun 25, 2012 12:14 AM CT

     

    Central bankers are finding it easier to support their economies than to spur expansion as the prospect of Japanese-like lost decades looms across the developed world.

     

    Another round of loosely correlated global stimulus has begun after the Federal Reserve extended its Operation Twist program and counterparts from Japan to Europe consider more monetary easing of their own.

     

    The rub is that even as they renew their rescue efforts, policy makers are postponing forecasts for fuller recoveries and run the risk that their latest actions pack a smaller punch. This raises the prospect of longer-term anemic expansion akin to the doldrums Japan has suffered since the early 1990s.

     

    full story on Bloomberg: http://bloom.bg/OjrhKE
    25 Jun 2012, 08:18 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    Actually... wouldn't part of the rub be that central banks are attempting the same policy solutions Japan has been trying for two decades without success?

     

    And... I think its safe to say return from 2000 to 2010 render it a "lost decade" of sorts... its more a question of if we're headed toward a "lost score" (20 years)... and what does one call Japan losing 30 years?
    25 Jun 2012, 08:20 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    Thank you all for all the great posts. Somewhat caught up on reading.

     

    House had home improvement water leaks #3 (Friday) and #4 (Sunday) the last few days. Both at least caught reasonably soon. If one more neighbor tells me the do-it-yourselfer who moved out of this house in 2004 that bequeathed us a sea of homebuilding sins was a "nice guy" I may get surly.

     

    Contractor dude thinks he'll finish this week... though he was supposed to finish last week (as of two weeks ago)... lest we forget in March he was supposed to be finished by the end of April...

     

    Been waiting for a quote from an insurance agent on the house for two weeks and a day.

     

    Apparently, time stopped when we started moving into this house.
    25 Jun 2012, 08:28 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    Sorry for your troubles, Jon...

     

    I am struck, however, with how nearly your personal problems run parrallel to the greater economic universe.

     

    During the height of the meltdown, the goal was to stabilize the crisis and engender some minor growth. We leapt aboard the zerosum train without a glance back... But most people did not realize that our leaders had no clue how to ever DEPART the train, once we were all dragged aboard. That's the beauty of the zerosummers, their goal is a grey fantasy limbo neatly located between conflicting realities. The idea is that this is a "safe" place, one where the inherent evils of capitalism, competition, free markets and individualism are castrated.

     

    Of course, the "fantasy" element is the belief that it will ultimately be possible to have the safe zerosum "cake" and yet eat the growth frosting as well.

     

    I hate to admit it, but the stated goals made during the crisis really HAVE been achieved. The fact that few people actually LIKE living in a grey, suffocating limbo is just an unforeseen side effect.

     

    Finally, we are now confronting the next layer of the fantasy, ie, that the West can somehow emulate Japan and fall into an elven slumber for decades on end, somehow preserved like Snow White inside her crystal tomb! LOL, the reality of course is very different. Japan is rapidly nearing the outer limits of their own economic coma, which was enabled by a unique situation which made the coma possible and sustainable. For one thing those lost decades of theirs BEGAN with the patriotic Japanese citizenry sitting atop a huge mountain of personal savings. As the years wore on, more and more of those savings were handed over to the state in exchange for greater and greater public debt. Anyone who sees a similar ratio anywhere in the West is delusional! True, we have embarked upon a similar road, but we have no similar resource to pull upon from a xenophobic citizenry trusting utterly in their national leadership. We will splat into the windshield of history very soon, ironically in some sort of darkly humorous coordination with a similar breakdown in Japan.

     

    We might take 5 years to accomplish what took the Japanese 30, but somehow that seems very predictable.

     

    The one thing we really should not do is complain that the steps taken to turn us into a zombie society saddled with a zerosum economy were somehow unpredictable.
    25 Jun 2012, 08:48 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    Jon, I have said that before, that 2000-2010 was a lost decade without doubt.
    It even wiped out some hedge funds before '08 or were so weak that they collapsed first day of trouble.
    I think without doubt we could easily go another 10 years too.
    25 Jun 2012, 09:41 AM Reply Like
  • Mark Bern, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (4850) | Send Message
     
    Jon - If it's any consolation, our contractor who was supposed to finish the job in three weeks has one last, small job to do to finish and it has been nearly three months since they started.
    25 Jun 2012, 10:41 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    For what its worth...

     

    The last time I was busy like this and nearly completely lost track of the markets...

     

    - I started a Master's program with a 21 credit load
    - I came down with a bad case of the flu that lasted a month
    - I cracked a rib
    - and yeah... that all started at the end of August 2008...

     

    I hope this time doesn't rhyme... at least not the cracked rib part - that really hurts for a while.
    25 Jun 2012, 10:29 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    Thanks K202...
    I'm not sure its consolation... but certainly confirmation that this is all par for the course.
    25 Jun 2012, 10:30 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    Oh. Shortly after stopping in to write that... had our 3rd leak inside the house in 4 days. On the bright side, we're getting quicker at finding them and figuring out the source.

     

    Elections in Mongolia on Thursday. Expecting some civil unrest thereafter. Watching MOGLF most - not impacted by foreign investment law and company is well run. MNGGF is another possibility, also not impacted by foreign investment law (law doesn't cover real estate), but principal owners are foreign so I'd wait for election results/reactions if not a holder.

     

    Odd situation from the outside. MPRP could wind up being part of a coalition to form a government. Plus-side, the party most likely to clean up corruption. Down-side, most nationalistic party (as in most likely to nationalize businesses).

     

    Plumbing problems are easier to fix.
    26 Jun 2012, 12:43 AM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2070) | Send Message
     
    In this market do we all now work for the Central Banks? Staying agile with continued volatility; playing "protected" asset classes, countering watered down currencies with investments in scarce resources (when they are cheap and may get cheaper) -- may need to shape our investment strategy now:
    http://bit.ly/OjzjmY
    25 Jun 2012, 09:21 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    Gold technicals broken, collapse coming:
    http://seekingalpha.co...
    25 Jun 2012, 09:48 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    I love the smell of a short squeeze early in the morning.
    25 Jun 2012, 10:25 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    You probably just got how the healthcare ruling will go....look at how the upheld the SuperPac and immigration rulings :
    http://bit.ly/MKUXNu
    25 Jun 2012, 11:28 AM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4135) | Send Message
     
    "You probably just got how the healthcare ruling will go...."

     

    Personally, I have never understood how anyone with even rudimentary understanding of American history could even begin to think a mandate to purchase insurance is consistent with the federal constitution.
    25 Jun 2012, 01:52 PM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2169) | Send Message
     
    >D-Inv: Exactly! If the SC allows the fedgov to force citizens (effectively at gun point) to pay for ANY commodity or service, it will effectively end out constitutional government. The fedgov was not given that authority in our Constitution.

     

    Obviously, the will and votes were not available in the Congress to enact real, useful universal health care with new taxes to pay for it.
    But violating the Constitution with a wink and a nod to expediency is not the solution!
    25 Jun 2012, 02:32 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    You should read on one of my above posts where 18 of 21 law scholars say it IS legal. But only 5 think the court will vote that way because all they are voting on is party lines.

     

    Do you believe a corporation is a person? and that Super PACS should be allowed to run ads that even the candidates do not endorse or know about ? Or put unlimited funds into campaigns both local and federal without even disclosing who donated the funds ?
    These are all examples and have nothing to do with the constitution.
    25 Jun 2012, 01:59 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4135) | Send Message
     
    LT > "You should read on one of my above posts where 18 of 21 law scholars say it IS legal. "

     

    :-) I had read the article which points out the "law scholars" based their opinions on interpretation of the Affordable Care Act mandate in context of a series of earlier SC rulings in the area of interstate commerce. Their perspective was quite familiar to me due to discussions of the issues with my daughter's father-in-law who is a graduate of Harvard Law. I disagree with some of the earlier rulings such as one finding that a farmer raising livestock for personal consumption (rather than sale into the market) was engaging in interstate commerce regulated by the Department of Agriculture (forget the case cite at the moment).

     

    Independent of view with respect to earlier rulings, the Affordable Care Act introduces a dimension not present in earlier cases. It imposes a mandate on how one should pay for medical care, not the purchase or provision of medical services. "Obamacare" essentially stipulates that should one choose in future to pay for medical services with legal tender of the U.S. rather than use a financial intermediary to pay all or part of the costs then one must pay a penalty (tax) to the federal government for choosing to do so.
    25 Jun 2012, 02:58 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    They put themselves in a box. If a labor union is a person and can engage in political activities as you described above the same must be granted to corporations. Both use the same labor force which are indeed people.
    26 Jun 2012, 08:54 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    The idea beneath granting political rights to organizations (which of course includes political parties themselves) is the same Constitutional source which is behind the treatment of corporations, unions, alliances, etc, etc. Freedom of Speech issues are of course in play, but also a less traveled Right, ie, "...the right of the people peaceably to assemble..." This underlies the idea of political associations of all kinds, but is not limited to such associations, and thus has been extended to a multiplicity of "free assemblies".

     

    Corporations are correctly viewed as imbuing within themsleves the rights of the individual owners (stockholders) to band together and express their views.

     

    Arguments that some assemblage or another may fall under the control or influence of nefarious individuals (in the case of the Corporation, usually the CEO or the Board) can be true in some individual case, but of course the same accusation can be leveled at ALL assemblages, including labor unions, political parties, or the local rotary club.

     

    As is the case with limiting Rights of all kinds, this example falls prey to the urge to pick and choose winners and losers based upon personal bias rather than sound Constitutional grounding. This is the pitfall of "democracy", wherein the temptation to let the mob rule can be irresistable. Hence the need for America to be a Republic, ruled by laws rather than the whim of the many.
    26 Jun 2012, 09:34 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5993) | Send Message
     
    Great Post!
    26 Jun 2012, 09:40 AM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    TB: Greetings. Excellent descriptor. That's it in a nutshell.
    26 Jun 2012, 09:50 AM Reply Like
  • jpau
    , contributor
    Comments (822) | Send Message
     
    The right to assemble is one thing; it should not infer a right of such an assembly to poison the system with torrents of cash which clearly undermine the most basic principle of democracy that one person equals one vote
    26 Jun 2012, 10:33 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    Corporations are correctly viewed as imbuing within themsleves the rights of the individual owners (stockholders) to band together and express their views.

     

    Hence the need for America to be a Republic, ruled by laws rather than the whim of the many.

     

    TB, I really can't believe you just stated these two things....first of all I do not want a CEO & Board taking my shareholder money to support the candidate of Their choice...they have a right to vote just like I do but not spend MY money on a candidate of their choosing. If they were supporting Obama you would have a conniption fit . Further, it was Presidential and senators first, now it is down to governors, then what when the Super PAC's move into your town electing your mayor and council men, your state representatives who are supposed to be elected locally by you?

     

    Secondly, a republic, and you say that the majority should not have the voting power ? That the majority should not rule ? Gimme a break. That elections should not be determined by the majority? That laws should not be passed by a majority?
    26 Jun 2012, 10:39 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5993) | Send Message
     
    I believe we have had quite a few Presidents elected without a majority of the popular vote among those voting.
    26 Jun 2012, 10:45 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    As an individual investor you of course have the right to communicate your personal opinions to the CEO and Board. So do the many other investors. We also have the right to enforce our wishes collectively via corporate elections and plebiscites. If you are unhappy with how the CEO, the Board, or your fellow shareholders exercise their collective Freedoms, you can of course exercise your own and sell the stock. That is the essence of free assembly, that no one is compelled to be there or to participate. I have my doubts about some larbor unions in states lacking certain protections for individual workers, but I have no doubt about my ability to sell a stock if I find the behavior of the management runs counter to my preferences.

     

    The legal concept behind treating assemblies as possessing the right to voice a group opinion is really simple Constitutional logic. Whether you find it repugnant or not (or "democratic" or not) won't change it. What will change it at the most basic level in the case of corporations is for stockholders to become active in exercising their collective power over the companies they own. Should you prefer investing in companies which make it a practice to NOT participate in any way in the politial scene, or push for a particular company you own stock in to do so, that is your choice.

     

    Removing the Constitutional rights of groups and associations to participate in free speech, however, woujld require dismantling the Bill of Rights, starting with #1.

     

    Even this endeavor (removing Free Speech and Free Assembly rights from groups and associations) is enshrined within the same Bill of Rights, however. Any group seeking to establish this as a political plank and pursue the political process toward achieving this has the right to do so.
    26 Jun 2012, 10:58 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    LT, I am aghast that you do not already know the deep differences between a Republic ruled by law and a Democracy ruled by the 50.0000001% outcome of every opinion poll. America is a Republic. Always has been. Democratic principles and mechanisms are included in the structure of the Republic, but the differences are real and important.
    26 Jun 2012, 11:08 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    we were not talking about "opinion" polls....we were talking about real polls, or rather real votes. It is called democracy...the majority rules.
    26 Jun 2012, 12:21 PM Reply Like
  • Mark Bern, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (4850) | Send Message
     
    jpau - Presumably you are including labor unions as well as corporations, otherwise it just doesn't work as it gives too much power to one group over others. Corporations do not all have the same agendas, nor do their leaders. Each contributes as it sees fit. Labor unions tend to always favor one party.

     

    Lobbyists (from both unions and corporations as well as wealthy individuals, social activist groups and industry groups) have always influenced the political system, mostly be hind the scenes. The one thing I disagree with about the law is that those who contribute can hide their names and associations. Making that info. public would, in my opinion, level the playing field. OTOH, if I make a contribution personally, I'm not sure I want party officials of the other party to know that I did for fear of retribution. Corporations must have even greater fears of what a party could do if in power after finding out that the company contributed to the opposition.

     

    So, I come around full circle. While I don't like the lack of transparency, I admit that it may be necessary because our political leaders do take vengeance against those who don't side with them (in more subtle ways than was common in Communist or dictatorial regimes).

     

    I suspect that the coal industry has nothing to lose by going public against Obama, but other industrial leaders would prefer to remain cloistered in darkness for fear of potential retaliation in the future. As long as Congress and the Administration has the power (especially within the tax laws and regulatory functions of government's over-extension of its original constitutional mandate), transparency is not a reasonable option, imo. I still think we need to neuter the federal government's powers, especially in the form of tax reform and contraction of the regulatory reach it has attained before we get back to being something that really resembles either a democracy or a republic.
    26 Jun 2012, 03:52 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8323) | Send Message
     
    LT, a true democracy allows the majority to do to the minority as it wishes. They may tax the minority into bankruptcy, take their land, eliminate their rights, and the list goes on and on, after all its majority rules. True democracy is brutal and destined to failure. That is why we are a republic not a true democracy. Most folks go off half cocked after an emotional event. Shall we use vigilante's to lynch the accused bank robber if a majority of the people join the vigilante's at the jail? Democracys can change the law anytime they want with a simple (temporary) majority that can result in crazy results, like vigilantes.
    28 Jun 2012, 10:21 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    I know that there are many QC readers who are invested in various precious metal and mining stocks. There is a disturbing move toward some governments installing extreme mining taxes. Many South American and African governments have moved toward direct nationalization (some have already done it), while others are taking the less controversial step of simply levying huge taxes...

     

    Australia is about to trigger their new 30% mining tax regimen, followed immediately by an all-encompassing Cap n' Tax environmentally-based tax - all atop their already high system of taxation. Be warned...

     

    South Afrika is determined to follow the Australians: http://bloom.bg/MqxEaV

     

    Canada's government is widely reported to be watching these developments with avid interest...

     

    Perhaps those of us who are accumulating physical metals might have the right idea.
    26 Jun 2012, 10:07 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5993) | Send Message
     
    The power to tax is the power to destroy.
    26 Jun 2012, 10:08 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17872) | Send Message
     
    And the power to throw collectivized money and power is the power to corrode.

     

    PACS, AARP, Unions, Corporations, government, ... all the same.

     

    MHO,
    HardToLove
    26 Jun 2012, 11:42 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    Generally true, HTL.

     

    Just as the more morally aware among us may find fault with a Free Speech Amendment which shields pornographers, there is a downside to the granting of Free Speech and Free Assembly rights to groups which abuse the political process.

     

    The Founding Fathers had to weigh these questions (their letters and essays exchanged between them are amazing, taken individually and as a collected work), and the balance they sought still works.

     

    If anything we need to buttress the vital role meant to be played by an informed and politically active citizenry. Everytime I look upon these problems (and I am repulsed as well, of course) I try to look beneath the headlines and through the screen of collective mush to the mass of individuals beneath. Every labor union that dispatches thugs to a Tea Party gathering is composed of individuals who, somewhere along the line, voted into power those calling the shots. Then there are the times I see crony capitalists cutting deals with corrupt politicians, and I must work hard to see the apathetic investors who voted in those CEOs and the equally unknowing and uncaring voters that elected the corrupt politicians.

     

    There is plenty of societal and cultural failure involved, but far more which can be tracked right back to the individual's plate.

     

    Where I don't find blame is in the Constitution nor the Rights enshrined there.
    26 Jun 2012, 11:54 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    thank you
    26 Jun 2012, 12:22 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    Just a brief reminder... I have seen historical reviews of the 1970s that say the physical was the better place to be through the peak price of physical and that mining stocks boomed in the 6 months *after* precious metals prices peaked. Something which I need study more someday... but I feel like peak prices are still far far away.

     

    And, just because it was that way before doesn't mean it will be again... just food for thought.
    26 Jun 2012, 12:50 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8323) | Send Message
     
    Brings to mind some quotes from Ben.

     

    "Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."
    Benjamin Franklin

     

    "Laws without morals are in vain."
    Benjamin Franklin (Motto of the University of Pennsylvania)
    28 Jun 2012, 10:25 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    The trading History of Gold (which to be relevant essentially starts where the FDR prohibition against individual ownership ends) has other problems with more modern technical analysis, ie, that it has graduated from its membership among commodities to a unique asset class. Unfortunately this new status is still mixed in with the unwieldy commodity exchange apparatus, while being simultaneously manipulated by major governments because of its asset class status.

     

    I see the analytical waters as being so thoroughly polluted by these factors that they are all but useless, save for shorter terms which overlap the "modern" situation.

     

    Fundamental analysis persists, of course, and includes factors such as the ascent of the huge majority of the primary mining centers from third world safety, environmental and labor conditions into first world realities... AND costs.

     

    This is another factor which is hugely influential - and hugely different from - when compared to the sector which existed even 4 or 5 years ago. Costs for the entire industry have begun to equalize remarkably, and the deep gulf which once yawned between third world production costs and firwst world demand is much narrower.

     

    Gold (as an asset class) can, of course, behave much differently than a comparable commodity reacting to the same objective conditions. Most of the gold ever mined is still with us. Even when it was still a raw goods commodity, the huge majority was always reclaimed and endlessly recycled. This means that yearly demand for things which still resemble commodity use (jewelry, industrial functions) COULD be met for a considerable time from the large accumulated stockpiles scattered in vaults around the globe. This is why I see a potential for a sharp downspike and correction for gold, the supply is large and the demand (as a commodity vs an asset class) is quite small. Manipulate the asset class, and the resulting imbalance could drop prices rapidly and hold them down (though eventually the underlying fundamentals will reassert themselves - the manipulation will fade in effectiveness - and the price will recover almost as quickly as it fell.

     

    Silver, otoh, will NOT follow along in this process. It is not an asset class - it is yet a commodity with immense demand and loads of industrial functions which result in loss as it is not recovered and recycled. Inventories of silver are historically low, while prices have been manipulated long term to keep them low.
    26 Jun 2012, 01:29 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    Harris Kupperman periodically grumbles that there will be an overabundance of silver in two years or less, for what its worth.
    26 Jun 2012, 09:52 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    Kuppy...

     

    I wonder if he will be successful with Kazakhstan as a new investment direction?

     

    I don't recall reading recently where he was down on silver (though of course he is a booster of gold).

     

    I did have an interesting argument the other day with another investor about gold which was deeply confusing to me, until I realized that he was using the normal industry figures about "supply". The Gold sector is one of the rare mining commodity places where you see statistics which state that "Mining production was flat at 651 tonnes, but supply surged due to increased recycling of 362 tonnes".

     

    Huh? "Supply" routinely includes recycling figures, which the uninitiated then keep adding together to get yearly numbers which are quite easily conflated between "supply" and "production".

     

    I personally discount recycling of gold (in particular) as "adding" anything to supply. It is just the result of melting down one form of gold already in stock and turning it into another form. Adding this number to "production" from mines (when of course those recycled tonnes were once mined as well) is very deceptive. Supply did not increase overall, nor did production. This confusion is widespread and pervasive. (But its not as bad as when I had to explain to the same fellow that the refining process at oil refineries really CAN expaqnd a single barrel of crude into 1.2 barrels of various products, just by the nature of what happens to the molecules...)

     

    Anyway, no such molecular miracle occurs upon melting down one physical form of gold and molding it into another. The world supply remains the same.

     

    Now, viewed from the position of a gold trader, most certainly, those recycled gold ingots represent a new "supply" of product for him to sell, and probably represented earnings when he bought the items which were melted down to make the new ingots, too. Its just when one starts debating commodities and supply and demand figures that such things become dicey.

     

    I have been tracking gold for a number of years now, and the relationship between jewelry and industrial consumption and gold price is unmistakable. The most recent figures I have seen put Q1 2012 jewelry and industry demand down about 7% yoy, which was very predictable since the same story has been told since this bull gold market began. Lately we see a steepening of the declines, from the early slope of the charts when a 10% increase in gold price would drive a 5% decrease in jewelry/industrial demand, or a 2:1 ratio, to near parity now.

     

    Gold which is purchased in India in the form of coin-based jewelry, for instance, is and has always been an investment activity treating gold as an asset class rather than a simple adornment. The same thing holds true throughout most of the Islaamic world, and represents a majority of the world sales in gold jewelry. This component of "jewelry" sales has grown while all other facets of this category have greatly decreased, further evidence that we are seeing gold assume a majority function as an asset class rather than as an adornment or industrial component.

     

    This should NOT be construed as necessarily bearish for Gold - on the contrary, evidence has shown that the asset class functions (investments in the metal rather than as decorative jewelry) have been more stable than the traditional jewelry and industrial markets...

     

    EXCEPT for the recent fiscal meltdown and the birth of paper gold etfs. Commodity exchanges now have a vested interest in protecting major ETF's and preventing the delivery of physical gold to customers, particularly in the event of the sort of nasty economic disasters for which people have purchased gold (and elevated it to an asset class).
    26 Jun 2012, 11:28 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8323) | Send Message
     
    In a very basic sense recycling is simply folks cashing in some of their metals. Weather they bought it for that purpose or not. I think most folks who buy PM's even in jewelry form, have the opinion that they/heirs will/may cash in their gold/silver at some time. Unless you intend to take it with you.
    28 Jun 2012, 10:32 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    http://yhoo.it/MQSTn9

     

    Stockton, CA is about to go bankrupt. It has already defaulted on $2million in bonds, and the trustee has seized their new (not yet occupied) city hall building and its 3 parking garages.
    26 Jun 2012, 04:25 PM Reply Like
  • Mark Bern, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (4850) | Send Message
     
    This may be just the beginning. Muni bond buyers must be much more selective today than ever before.
    26 Jun 2012, 05:50 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    FYI,

     

    SouthGobi (SGQRF.PK) (1878.HK) (SGQ.TO) down 19% in Hong Kong over night. Admits problems and curtailing of CapEx.

     

    Article: http://bit.ly/LBIUVa

     

    Press Release: http://mwne.ws/KD44Mn
    27 Jun 2012, 06:57 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    Super article on How to fix the economy at Bloomberg by Carolyn Baum....sad part is the title says it all :
    http://bloom.bg/Luwrwb
    27 Jun 2012, 09:42 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4597) | Send Message
     
    >LT ... Dare to dream. I'm sure lobbyists would be piled up to the top of the rotunda. It would be interesting times.
    27 Jun 2012, 10:05 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    NYT reports that JPM "London Whale" loss is at $9 billion...not the $2 billion reported:
    http://on.mktw.net/MXbsV8
    28 Jun 2012, 05:27 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    If the above is true, it will have global consequences on derivatives for hedging. Remember there is $400-600 trillion of these things out there.
    Last report was that BAC had $67 trillion in derivatives for hedging.

     

    My slant is, without the retail investor for Wall St. to take to the cleaners, as fast as the traders can discover a position like this they will be like sharks and force a move. Especially if margin is required. I would also speculate and say that Greece and the EZ crisis has actually increased the number of derivatives instead of banks unwinding positions.
    I think we can see why the TBTF banks fought the splitting off the trading and more regulation. If any of them had to unwind positions there is no way to keep from losing. Personally I can't see why governments does not ban them entirely except in the form of 2 parties exclusively taking an insurance position like Buffett did in a couple of cases.
    If this is true, combined with the SC ruling due out, today could be a very very wild day.
    28 Jun 2012, 05:43 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    I forgot to add the real question for here re: the JPM loss

     

    IF, banks had to stop derivative trading or split the trading desk off to a stand alone company... What does this do to Wall St. & the stock mkt. ?

     

    I think the effect would be very bad for Hedge funds, PE funds, and maybe stocks as a whole.
    28 Jun 2012, 06:07 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    what's $9 billion between friends?

     

    U.S. debt has been going up way more than $1 billion per day since 2003.

     

    we can ante up that money and give it back to JPM in 6 days (does anyone want to raise and say 5? 4?)
    28 Jun 2012, 08:12 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    You just got to love our free markets, capitalism & transparency:

     

    6:51 PM Comcast (CMCSA) will pay $800K to settle an FCC probe into whether the company intentionally made it difficult for consumers to learn about broadband service plans that aren't packaged with TV services. As part of the deal, Comcast has been "ordered to offer a broadband service with a download speed of at least 6 mbps at a price no greater than $49.95 for three years," and is prohibited from raising the plan's price for 2 years. (previous) [Consumer, Tech] 1 Comment
    28 Jun 2012, 05:48 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    Yep. Too bad regulated monopolies don't operate in a free market, are not capitalistic, and are opague as mud.

     

    Comcast didn't even get a slap on the wrist - $800k won't even pay for a day of their ad budget.

     

    That a la carte deal is $49.95 per month? I don't see where that would be punitive for Comcast (except the part about no gotcha 6 month or 12 month expirations, they make a mint when folks forget about the baloon payment routine).

     

    If the FCC were serious, they would have requjired them to drop contract periods altogether. Locking them in with a 3 year plan just plays right into the Comcast predatory cycle.
    28 Jun 2012, 07:04 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    Having lived somewhere where Comcast had an effective monopoly and hated every moment of it...

     

    nodding at everything y'all said

     

    noting that they continue to ride atop my unofficial Worst Customer Service In America Rankings

     

    1- Comcast
    2 - UPS
    3 - AT&T

     

    Mind you, my best "bad customer service" phone call ever was with UPS. I was really angry as they had lost 2 out of 5 boxes (which all had the same thing) for our wedding. I was inquiring why they could not find the box (being that they have all those cute tracking numbers for them). They said they could not find them and would have to reship new versions of the same items. I, in a very bad mood, inquired:
    "Can I speak to a supervisor? Or someone more intelligent than a monkey!"
    Man on other end: "No..."
    Me: "You mean there's no one more intelligent than a monkey there?"
    28 Jun 2012, 08:05 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    Add Insight cable to your list...our stupid city gov't gave them an exclusive contract, so the in effect have a legal monopoly and trust me they take advantage of it, Time Warner just bought them out. I suspect it gets worse.
    28 Jun 2012, 08:29 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    Sorry to hear that LT. We moved somewhere where there's 3-way competition. As you might imagine, service has improved.
    28 Jun 2012, 10:32 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    German unemployment rises by 7000...German mkt. drops 1.8%

     

    Deal making has came to a halt until the EZ crisis solved too.

     

    Wonder is this softens them any ?
    28 Jun 2012, 06:51 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    Not really painful enough, LT. They are deeply divided as to where to go with the EZ and the EU plans, however. The upcoming election cycle next year will be ALL about those things...

     

    I am convinced that Germany will get a 2-tier deal on the fiscal union front, one which protects their bond turf while everyone else has to swim together. We saw a similar result when the Brits balked at joining the EZ, and got special treatment.
    28 Jun 2012, 07:08 AM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8323) | Send Message
     
    Or Germany returns to the Mark.
    28 Jun 2012, 10:35 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    The more I hear about Germany resurrecting the deutch mark, the more I see Germany as the central support for the US of E and the Euro. The center-right and left-green parties argue a lot about minutia, but both are firmly behind an eventual US of E with Germany running things from the top.

     

    They will help to prune the PIIGS one by one from the EZ long before they leave the Euro themselves.
    28 Jun 2012, 11:14 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    I agree...in fact that is what I have said all along. There is a short deal on MarketWatch.com that says
    "Merkel Dominates Impotent Eurocrats" LOL
    28 Jun 2012, 11:21 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    LT, we agree on a great many topics. But its the ones where we disagree which have the best chance of bringing something fresh and original to the table...

     

    As for the Euro and the EZ, nothing major will change when Merkel loses that seat and the German Left moves in. Oh, there will be a different tone to the Franco-German alliance which has dominated things in recent years, it won't be certer-right agreeing with center-right, oh no...

     

    It will be left-green agreeing with left-green. Merkel is saddled with the most right wing of the major German parties, her Bavarian cousins, who are not fans of US of E agendas, but the Left will leave them isolated and powerless. If anything, I expect the new government to loosen some of the so-called austerity deals a little (but be even tighter than the center-rightists when it comes to dealing with fellow ne'er-do-well lefts in Greece).

     

    The synchronicity is really quite eerie.
    28 Jun 2012, 06:01 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    Gasoline consumption down 3.5% ... some interesting graphs

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...
    28 Jun 2012, 09:29 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    9:00 AM Regional banks (KRE, IAT) benefit, increasing their loan books by 9.8% as the TBTFs trimmed theirs by 4.9% in Q1. "We were able to pick up a lot of customers," thanks to the capital constraints of the big banks, says Daniel Cantara of First Niagara (FNFG). [Financials] Comment!
    28 Jun 2012, 10:00 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    The 2Bigs have no interest in loaning money to Americans when they can borrow for zero from the Fed and float it across the Atlantic via the $carry trade at a high return with no work on their part, and with the clueless American taxpayer taking care of any potential downside.

     

    The exception of course is credit cards, where they can pull in 30% in interest and tack another 10% return in fees.

     

    That covers the "bank" functions for the 2Bigs.

     

    Then we can look at their trading desks...

     

    LOL, or better yet, let's not do that on a full stomach.
    28 Jun 2012, 10:04 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17872) | Send Message
     
    "LOL, or better yet, let's not do that on a full stomach"

     

    I hate the "dry heaves"! :-((

     

    HardToLove
    28 Jun 2012, 10:06 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (5993) | Send Message
     
    Market aparently did not like the health care ruling.
    28 Jun 2012, 10:39 AM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8323) | Send Message
     
    Now we will all be forced to buy a chevy volt next or pay a carbon tax.
    28 Jun 2012, 10:49 AM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8323) | Send Message
     
    One more thing, Its Bushes fault. Bush 41 for selecting Roberts to the scotus.
    28 Jun 2012, 10:51 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    Holy poop-diddle. Did not expect that ruling.

     

    (holding with home insurance)
    28 Jun 2012, 11:08 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17872) | Send Message
     
    Well, I'm sure the founders did not envision this: the SCOTUS seems to say taxing authority extends to every thing we do ...
    extends to everything we don't do ....

     

    A gutless side-stepping of the issue, IMO.

     

    I pick option 3.

     

    If we're going to give unlimited taxing authority, why not just admit were socialist.

     

    HardToLove
    28 Jun 2012, 11:22 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    Cute. Now the upcoming elections take on an even deeper meaning...

     

    ANYTHING can be manadated by the Federal government so long as it may also (potentially, maybe, sort of) be taxed.

     

    Spinach. I can see the legislation now:

     

    "Just in from Washington: All Americans must purchase a pound of spinach every week. No, there is no requirement that they actually EAT the spinach, that's up to them, but if they do NOT buy the pound of spinach (which is of course something which we all SHOULD eat to get good nutrition, see the latest suggestions from the Surgeon General and the First Lady's "Eat Healthy" video), they will be charged an additional 1% Federal Income Tax.

     

    "Update: White House vehemently denies caving in to pressure from the "Spinach Lobby". Now, an in depth exclusive from Jake Rodrigore, with film of a secretive luncheon between the chief spinach lobbyist and the head Donation Bundler of ACORN..."

     

    There's no end to the possibilities.

     

    Amazing.
    28 Jun 2012, 11:30 AM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2070) | Send Message
     
    Very well said HTL. In the name of "taxing authority" seems to me anything can now be mandated by the Federal government going forward. The double irony is that our President repeated many times that the healthcare law was not a "tax." :-))
    28 Jun 2012, 11:33 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    Double dip recession just got plunked right back in the middle of the table. Unemployment improving? Forgedaboudit.

     

    Watch for stories of small and medium sized companies parring back their workforce to get their manning below the minimums to avoid the worst penalties... Others will change full time jobs to part time... Others will layoff employees and start using temp's... Others will...

     

    Close shop, retire, and move to Ecuador.
    28 Jun 2012, 11:39 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17872) | Send Message
     
    "... denies caving in to pressure from the "Spinach Lobby ..."

     

    The anticipated effects on the cost of spinach were downplayed by that noted industry spokesman, Popeye the Sailor Man, who noted that it has long been an underutilized natural resource for promoting better health and reduction of obesity.

     

    "It's only natural that our democratically elected officials should mandate that which promotes the social benefits of this foodstuff as a counter-weight to the natural propensity towards unhealthy habits by such as Wimpy, who also happens to be heavily indebted due to his irresponsible financial behavior to support his penchant for hamburgers.

     

    There is legislation being now crafted to tax hamburger consumption exceeding certain limits to rectify this national epidemic. In conjunction with that, taxes will be added for *not* paying your bills on time."

     

    HardToLove
    28 Jun 2012, 11:42 AM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2070) | Send Message
     
    TB, the ramifications of this ruling on small business will be the big aha IMO. Already early this morning we heard that during Q1 "after-tax corporate profits dropped for the first time in three years." What many don't realize, is that this 1Q adjustment is largely driven by non-public smaller companies who do not report publicly their earnings releases at the same time the big corporations do.

     

    Some of the "what" of the Healthcare law of course makes sense -- but the "how" leaves a lot to be desired and smaller companies are going to pay a big price. I think we will see more downward corporate earnings adjustments in coming quarters.

     

    http://fxn.ws/MYh6o4
    28 Jun 2012, 11:59 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    MJ, I agree with that second paragraph except that corporate earnings were already down and going down with or without healthcare. Guidance has been lowered across the board already. I posted a while back about Proctor & Gamble and others to the point that earnings declines mainly due to the slowdown in China & the EZ are not good for stock prices.

     

    I was shocked & surprised by the ruling, but I knew if it went this way the hospitals and even eventually insurance companies would benefit immensely.
    28 Jun 2012, 12:03 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    IF we apply the "First Rule of Obamish" (as taken from my upcoming best selling book "The New Dictionary - Obamish Revealed") Ms. Mercy, everything becomes clear. The First Rule is quite simple, really: Reverse or invert the key term and the phresh, new, meaning is easily understood by us dinosaurs still working with the outmoded, obsolete "English" language. Google wants to pay me millions to add this capability to their translation service, but I'm holding out for more...

     

    It takes a little practice, but even the most stubborn person clinging to English can master Obamish.

     

    In this case, it was a bit more subtle, since we were confusing "health insurance" with a "mandated purchase" when in fact it was a "tax" all along. Given that even the good Justice Roberts (who obviously has read my book and mastered Obamish in his spare time between episodes of having his brain removed and chrome plated) had to peel the Obamish onion about 6 layers to arrive at the correct answer, its a lot to ask of neophytes first confronting their own English-bigoted shortcomings to follow the awesome Byzantine revelation.

     

    I have found that sleeping in a storm drain running beneath a busy interstate helps to prepare the mind for receiving Obamish - particularly for those following my suggested study guide, in which sleeping with the book duct-taped to the side of the head is most efficacious.

     

    Absorbing the Master's wisdom via osmosis is a great way to begin to grasp Obamish. I am still trying to determine why the proximity to an interestate highway helps, but perhaps it has something to do with ingesting large quantities of diesel fumes...
    28 Jun 2012, 12:10 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4135) | Send Message
     
    "The double irony is that our President repeated many times that the healthcare law was not a "tax." :-)) "

     

    Just one of the many demonstrations the present White House incumbent carries the title of 'Liar in Chief' in several venues.
    28 Jun 2012, 12:45 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8323) | Send Message
     
    24 oz drinks may now be purchased in NY if you pay the soda tax. LOL
    29 Jun 2012, 06:26 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4997) | Send Message
     
    When it comes to health care watch what you ask for:

     

    http://buswk.co/MCZGS0

     

    http://bloom.bg/QsjCqE
    28 Jun 2012, 11:59 AM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10802) | Send Message
     
    Our economy will now transition from recession to depression under the weight of the largest tax increase in the history of the planet. As outlined above small businesses will take the brunt of this. A crises will ensue and the "Public option." will be the solution puting private health insurers out of business as they will be unable to compete with the Federal government. That has been the goal of this all along. This ruling has fundamentally transformed (Where did we hear that before?) the relationship of the individual to the Federal government. Today what little remained of individual soverignty was transferred to the Federal government. State soverignty was lost long ago. Federalism and the US constitution are now defunct and Voldemort has elevated himself to King.
    28 Jun 2012, 12:41 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4135) | Send Message
     
    "Federalism and the US constitution are now defunct and Voldemort has elevated himself to King."

     

    And then there are some responding with "I have not yet begun to fight." Romney just got a boost. Could be mistaken but I expect increased contributions to Romney's campaign and a surge in "grassroots" volunteers in short order.
    28 Jun 2012, 01:08 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    Just got off the phone with a relative, who works construction. He and his co-workers have just been informed that they are all now "contractors", starting next Monday, and will be responsible for their own taxes, retirement, FICA, and insurance like any other "sub" hired by the company to do a job.

     

    Wow. What a non-surprise.

     

    Only an idiot would be hiring anything more than a temp from here on out.

     

    This could transform our culture, just as WW2 did.

     

    "Full time" jobs will become synonymous with "government" jobs, while "private sector" jobs and "part time" jobs will become synonyms with a darker result.

     

    Millions of bewildered new "contractors" will be entering the market, however, so maybe the way to invest in this would be the major shopping center accounting firms like H&R Block. Demand for their services will mushroom...
    28 Jun 2012, 01:17 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    OK gang, let's roll up our sleeves and figure out who gets the goodies from this one...

     

    H&R Block... Check.

     

    Insurers who are writing policies for young people (but not those doing business with older folks, many of whom will have pre-existing conditions and older children which must be covered)... Check.

     

    Hospitals with emergency room operations (those without emergency room facilities might gain a little, but the ones with emergency rooms stand to gain by far the most)... Check.
    28 Jun 2012, 01:29 PM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2070) | Send Message
     
    TB, Although I do think there will be scalping trade opportunities short-term -- I am in the camp that believes this is the first inning in a long ball game: "The story isn’t over and as a result, it’s impossible to make an educated investment ... What if, the public doesn’t like this – and Romney shoots higher in the polls ... that changes the trade." http://bit.lyN1exVS__source=yahoo|h...
    28 Jun 2012, 02:28 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    No doubt about it, I agree, its a risky and unpredictable equation.

     

    We're back to default, ie, an election.
    28 Jun 2012, 02:32 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4135) | Send Message
     
    Agree that HR Block looks to benefit.

     

    I'm not so sure about medical insurers, even those writing policies for young people. My daughter's youngest (~ two months) appeared to thrive for the first 3.5 weeks after which he seemed 'not quite himself' and exhibited a mild fever. Pediatrician quickly referred them to ER (where Mom and infant waited from 8:45 pm till 3:30am to be seen). When finally examined by ER staff, the fever had dissippated but physicians recommended some diagnostics and admission of the child to hospital. (Seems he had developed a urinary tract infection which had entered the blood stream, organ systems had begun shutting down and, absent treatment, would likely have been dead before noon.) 10 days and $28.5K in hospital charges (covered by medical insurance for the most part) later the boy was back home.

     

    Use of ERs is not dominated by uninsured patients.
    28 Jun 2012, 02:16 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    I'm really glad the baby made it OK, D-inv. And that long wait must have been extremely unpleasant.

     

    My point was merely that in the process of picking a winning investment from among the ranks of hospital chains, those which had emergency room operations would stand to gain more than those without, particularly as a relative equation, since the weight for supplying health care to the uninsured currently falls predominantly on them. Chains which are currently coping with write-offs for the uninsured which are at the highest should see their stock price improve more than competitors that operate without the same sort of write-offs.
    28 Jun 2012, 02:37 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4135) | Send Message
     
    You may be correct in your assessment re-ERs, TB. But, I will steer clear of med insurers. Don't have any statistics to back up thoughts here, but I expect demographics of hospital location is better indicator of uninsured/unpaid bill burden than presence or absence of ERs. Local legal environments also matter.

     

    :-) When I was young, youngsters appearing at doctor offices/clinics with large cuts were commonly treated on the spot with wounds closed by doctors/nurses using needle and thread. Today, many/most pediatricians and general practitioners were I live refer such patients to ERs for treatment. Some ERs are busy because of referrals for use of their diagnostic equipment (the reason my grandson was an ER patient). In some places (and not others) ambulances can determine where they take patients.
    28 Jun 2012, 04:07 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    By the by...

     

    our health insurance from my wife's time as a university student runs out on August 14

     

    tried getting health insurance quote today. was told no one in our family can be quoted a health insurance price until our child is born (not yet) and two weeks old...

     

    crazy &%$#s !!!
    28 Jun 2012, 04:31 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    Yep. That's a "pre-existing condition" in the health insurance industry.

     

    You might check into Florida's state program - most states have some insurance that will cover those who don't qualify for other programs. Then again, since you just moved to that state, you probably have not established residency yet, either...
    28 Jun 2012, 05:16 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17872) | Send Message
     
    It just occurred to me that the SCOTUS has effectively scuttled the last bastion of personal property rights, which underlies *everything* that made our society once great.

     

    Your body can now be taxed for failure to purchase a service (health insurance) for it or taxed via *forced* purchase of a product (the dirrerence between that and a tax?) to, ostensibly, ameliorate your body's potential health problem effects on society as a whole.

     

    Unlike a credo of "as long as you harm no one else", based on the premise of close-proximity harm, we have transitioned to far-proximity harm: that is, your actions may ripple through society to the nth degree and be deemed harmful to society as a whole and therefore your right to fair use of your property (your body) are further limited.

     

    This is not just a slippery slope: it is the realization of the fears projected by many prescient and respected individuals over our history, beginning with our founders.

     

    The quote from "Ben" about "taking" is particularly appropriate here.

     

    Since the state now owns our body, are we communist? Are there any "properties" that can't be confiscated via "eminent domain" or via taxation?

     

    Let's remember that if it wasn't *mandated* that ERs must treat regardless of ability to pay and if "health care" hadn't been transformed first to a "right" (a la home ownership?), and if the health-care system hadn't been transformed to a monolithic system of corporate profit centers, none of this could have happened.

     

    There was a time when the $ didn't drive all medical practitioners' behavior and minimal health care was generally available to those in need regardless.

     

    But that's not my point at all.

     

    HardToLove
    28 Jun 2012, 04:01 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4135) | Send Message
     
    "t just occurred to me that the SCOTUS has effectively scuttled the last bastion of personal property rights, which underlies *everything* that made our society once great."

     

    I choose to look at the SCOTUS decision as the equivalent to Democrats of Cornwallis's victory in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse with Yorktown coming up.
    28 Jun 2012, 05:30 PM Reply Like
  • jpau
    , contributor
    Comments (822) | Send Message
     
    Only in America could the idea of trying to make health care more universal be considered evil. I'm no big fan of the ACA, I'd rather have had single-payer. Of course, we'll never get that here, so what the democrats passed was a plan created by a conservative think tank - and now the partisan hysteria blows up again.
    28 Jun 2012, 05:35 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13507) | Send Message
     
    Its complicated, but the easiest way to understand how these United States are different from, say, France is that the comparison is inapt at its root.

     

    These United States are, by original design, an alliance of the willing, of equal, sovereign States choosing to freely join together (hence the "United States" part). So the superior comparison would be not with an individual State in Europe, but to the European Union.

     

    Look upon the uproar and consternation over a minority of the European States which have been sloppy with their books, and who have so upset the planet. How many separate parties are there in the European Union? 200? More?

     

    Then look at the arguments we engage in among ourselves, in a very similar (though older and more advanced in some ways) union which however has very much the same sort of underpinnings and problems.

     

    So, when making such comparisons, keep in mind that the reaction in Berlin that they would soon be footing the health bills for Italy would NOT be greeted with aplomb.
    28 Jun 2012, 05:46 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4135) | Send Message
     
    > jpau -- Neither I nor anyone I know has issues with the objective of universal access to reasonably priced, competent medical care. A medical delivery system based on single payer principle could be ideal with patients responsible for their own bills. If you prefer a government only single payer system there is no way to bridge views or comprise to reach agreement.

     

    If you consider my reaction as "partisan hysteria", I respectfully suggest that you have no comprehension of the depth of feeling, or political leanings of a substantial component of the U.S. electorate.
    28 Jun 2012, 05:54 PM Reply Like
  • jpau
    , contributor
    Comments (822) | Send Message
     
    Anyone who hasn't been under a rock since Obama was elected understands the depth of feeling (and it seemed just as strong at times when Clinton was in office); and while it's difficult sometimes to pin down the political leanings of an individual, I think it would be pretty difficult to miss the level of polarization in the U.S. today
    28 Jun 2012, 06:09 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4135) | Send Message
     
    "(and it seemed just as strong at times when Clinton was in office); and while it's difficult sometimes to pin down the political leanings of an individual,(and it seemed just as strong at times when Clinton was in office);"

     

    :-) All peaches and cream in the Bush years, eh.
    28 Jun 2012, 06:43 PM Reply Like
  • Mark Bern, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (4850) | Send Message
     
    Yeah, I don't remember a single criticism of Bush or the Republicans. We were a nation totally united in spirit because the Democrats were always there at the bargaining table with reasonable compromises (sarcasm intended).

     

    Actually, both parties have been splitting the nation, attempting to divide and conquer. But the current administration has done more, imho, to divide the country than I have ever experienced in my 60+ years. When the Prez stated publicly that the Republicans could ride in the back of the bus early on when his party controlled both houses of Congress there was little doubt in my mind that further division would follow; and it has...by design.
    29 Jun 2012, 01:13 PM Reply Like
  • jpau
    , contributor
    Comments (822) | Send Message
     
    Criticism is one thing, it happens to every administration. People crying that "It's the end of freedom", that their states should secede from the union, that there should be armed rebellion (Matt Davis, former GOP spokesman)... Calling Obama a muslim, the birthers, the depraved idiots who claimed that Hillary had Vince Foster murdered; not to mention the person with from SC who yelled "keep your government hands off my medicare!". There should be a corollary to Godwin's law about the short length of time any political conversation can exist online before a conservative poster resorts to false equivalency.

     

    That said, I totally agree that we are a completely polarized and divided country K202. But the idea that Obama has been the primary divider is risible.
    29 Jun 2012, 07:02 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17872) | Send Message
     
    "a conservative poster resorts to false equivalency"

     

    Combining that with your prior statement about it being hard to tell a poster's political leanings, ... Let me guess yours ... Never mind.

     

    Anyway, if taking that quote as a statement of fact, we would conclude (through the mechanism of inclusion/exclusion) the "liberal posters" never use such tactics.

     

    I had more to say about that, but why waste the bits, bandwidth and my (everybody's?) time?

     

    HardToLove
    30 Jun 2012, 06:30 AM Reply Like
  • jpau
    , contributor
    Comments (822) | Send Message
     
    HTL, you're right about how I lean, I'm not ashamed of it, and I know I'm an outlier on these boards. I don't make a good Alan Colmes

     

    I apologize for being so argumentative - it is wasting everyone's time.
    30 Jun 2012, 08:24 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17872) | Send Message
     
    Jpau: "I know I'm an outlier"

     

    You might be surprised. Many of us are likely a blend, based on what I've observed. I'm socially liberal but fiscally conservative myself. That leads to an interesting (to me) balancing act. I suspect many of us are in this position.

     

    My only thought regarding your posts is goal related. If you want to engender a frank productive discussion of ideas and POVs that may expose each of us to thoughts we may not have considered (correctly?), ISTM a better path demands avoidance of phraseology that evokes defensive reactions and ... "generalizes" too much. This leaves readers, IMO, with a more open mind.

     

    Of course, religion and politics ... you know. Hard to keep such discussions completely rational and friendly.

     

    We probably ought to also keep in mind that we are in an investing site and stay somewhere around that area *most* of the time. But I don't think anyone really objects to an occasional foray into other areas - it's part of the "social" experience here.

     

    MHO,
    HardToLove
    30 Jun 2012, 08:42 AM Reply Like
  • jpau
    , contributor
    Comments (822) | Send Message