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Skull & Bones

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  • The rumored Hilsenrath "tapering" story - originally expected to come out late Thursday - instead came out after yesterday's market close. It's mostly a summary of what's already known - that Fed officials plan to reduce asset purchases in steps, the timing of which is still being debated. The article leans heavily on Richard Fisher and Charles Plosser, two well-known hawks (and non-voters on the FOMC this year) who would have already tightened if it was up to them. A number of Fed speakers - including Bernanke - are set to speak next week. [View news story]
    Just to be clear. The Hilsenrath story was never a was a fact known, in advance, by the front running elite who successfully CRUSHED the retail trade who was selling into Friday's open based on this "rumor". The Fed is engaged in policy that may ultimately crush the vast majority of citizens in America......and they are doing it with the full blessing of the US Government.
    May 11, 2013. 11:45 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Risk still exists. Institutional Financial Markets (IFMI -33.6%) gets smacked after reporting a Q1 loss of $0.34/share, undertaking a dilutive capital raise, and adopting a poison pill in which it threatens significant dilution to any group acquiring more than 4.95% of the company's stock without board approval. [View news story]
    There is NO investment risk in the markets, thanks to the Fed. The only risk of any kind that still exists is good ole FRAUD risk.
    May 10, 2013. 10:13 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Expect Tesla To Lose Its After-Hours Gains [View article]
    Any Long not selling the short squeeze/euphoria here is a fool. Sure, it may take a few days before this party results in painful hangovers....but I'm guessing we're closer to Midnight than the Tesla partygoers think.
    May 9, 2013. 09:01 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Market recap: A morning pullback again brought buyers into stocks, which still closed slightly lower on the heels of disappointing consumer and retail data, but each of the three major indexes closed nearly 2% for the week. Energy and mining stocks tumbled as crude oil fell 2.4%, and gold's protracted decline pushes it into bear territory; other commodities also fell sharply[View news story]
    The S&P chart over the past 4 years is an amazingly seasonal pattern of 4 to 5 month "pumps" followed by a 1 month dump. This pattern started pretty ragged when QE was launched, but now the pattern resembles a near "perfect slope" upward. What could go possibly wrong?
    Apr 12, 2013. 10:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Manhattan judge is questioning whether Citigroup's (C ) proposed $590M settlement of a shareholder lawsuit alleging a corporate coverup of billions in subprime-related losses is fair. At issue is whether former Citi officials should be absolved from financial responsibility. Judge Sidney Stein posed the following question to both the defendant and the plaintiffs: "Does the absence of any payments from the individual defendants render the settlement unfair to class members who still hold Citigroup stock they purchased during the class period?" [View news story]
    The real question is, "Will the rule of law ever apply to large financial institutions when the effect of enforcing said laws run counter to the will of the Federal Government's attempts to strengthen the banks ". The answer is NO.
    Apr 2, 2013. 04:17 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Haruhiko Kuroda - nominated to be next BOJ governor - ratchets up expectations for the central bank's first meeting under his leadership (April 3-4), telling parliament he will do whatever it takes to end deflation. Adding a bit of humor to his confirmation hearing, he says the BOJ's easing isn't aimed at weakening the yen. Dollar/yen -0.1% at ¥93.43. The NIkkei +0.7%[View news story]
    Why is it humorous that Kuroda claims the BOJ easing is not aimed at weakening the Yen? Ben Bernanke, Timmy Geithner et al. have consistently maintained that the US is committed to a "strong dollar policy"..........while continuing to print TRILLIONS of dollars via QE!
    Mar 3, 2013. 10:08 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Groupon Special: Buy A $6 Stock For $4.20 [View article]
    May consider GRPN back toward the $2.60 support levels. I think it may get back there on a general market pullback.
    Feb 28, 2013. 10:20 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Groupon (GRPN) lowered the cut it receives on daily deals to 35% from 40% in Q4, CFO Jason Child discloses. That's one reason (though not the only one) why daily deals revenue fell 14% Y/Y. On the earnings call, COO Kal Raman suggested major international layoffs are on the way - 3/4 of sales personnel currently work in Groupon's international ops. CEO Andrew Mason, likely to face fresh calls for his removal (previous), promises operating margin will improve in 2013 in spite of a shift towards e-commerce sales. Shares -25.8% AH. (live blog) (Q4: I, II[View news story]
    I don't really see any "short squeezes" in the near term. But there was certainly one heck of a "long squeeze" after the bell today!
    Feb 27, 2013. 10:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More on the Groupon disaster: Europe is still weak - Q4 international revenue -16% Y/Y (was +3% in Q3), billings +6%. North America was better: revenue +109% (+81% in Q3), billings +51%. Direct revenue (e-commerce sales) rose to $225M, now 35% of revenue. But it produced just $6.6M in gross profit. This led gross margin to fall to 55.7% from 80.4% a year ago. Marketing spend -61% Y/Y to $60.9M, SG&A +20% to $307.6M. Capex $40M in Q4, $96M in 2012. Headcount fell by 472 to 11.4K. GRPN -19.9% AH. CC at 5PM ET (webcast). (PR) (slides[View news story]
    Unmitigated disaster.......all the signs were there for those who were looking. The analyst upgrades a week before earnings confirms that it's business as usual on Wall Street.
    Feb 27, 2013. 05:04 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • If we were simple, we wouldn't be AIG, CEO Bob Benmosche tells Bloomberg. On the just-concluded earnings call, the company didn't give a ton of guidance to those looking for dividends. Management wants to do it, and notes the new class of shareholders a dividend would bring in, but will take its time about it. Shares +4%. (earnings) (presentation[View news story]
    AIG should have exploited the legal system to the fullest and sued the US Government for "heavy handed" treatment during the Financial Crisis. Corporations have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders to be profit maximizers and AIG proved to be "boot lickers" instead. Too bad since the BILLIONS they may have successfully won in the courts could have gone a long way to compensating the "original" shareholders who were wiped out during those "dark days" in 2008. It was a shame what the US Government did to AIG, Lehman Brothers, et al. Just makes me wonder what kind of country we live in!
    Feb 22, 2013. 10:04 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The NY Fed is apparently trying to let BofA (BAC) off the hook for possible sizable legal claims related to former AIG (AIG) mortgage securities held by Maiden Lane II following the insurer's bailout in 2008. AIG has sued BofA to recover some of the $18B loss it suffered on the assets, but the bank argues that AIG gave its right to sue to the NY Fed when it sold the assets. The latter agrees and has released BofA from most of the connected legal liabilities even though it's not yet certain that the NY Fed has the right to do so. [View news story]
    "Collusion between the Fed and big banks?" The Fed was CREATED by the big banks. The Fed is a PRIVATE, INDEPENDENT institution that exists SOLEY to manipulate interest rates and the money supply IN FAVOR OF the TBTF banks. The largest financial institutions in the US operate largely ABOVE THE LAWS OF THE LAND. It is not possible to PROSECUTE OR PUNISH any of the TBTF banks because of the potential threat to the economy for doing so. The strength of the banking system is the LYNCHPIN of capitalism and in a country as "free" as the United States the banks will NEVER, EVER, EVER be nationalized NO MATTER WHAT THEY HAVE EVER BEEN GUILTY OF.
    Feb 18, 2013. 02:13 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • More from the G-20: Speaking now, IMF chief Lagarde calls the euro's strength a welcome policy development (welcome? EU exports to China are diving). Talk of currency wars is overblown, and she sees no major deviation from the fair value of major currencies. Gold isn't liking all of this feel-good talk, hitting a 6-month low of $1,626/oz. GLD -0.8% premarket. [View news story]
    "When it gets have to lie."...........EuroGroup Head Jean-Claude Juncker. Truer words have rarely been spoken by ANY government official ANYWHERE in the world. Keep stacking the precious metals.......the Central Banks surely can't get enough of it!
    Feb 15, 2013. 09:24 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The SEC reportedly is investigating a surge in trading of Heinz (HNZ) call options on Tuesday, before news the company was being bought by Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) and 3G Capital for $28B, or $72.50 a share. A Heinz $65 call option expiring on June 22 apparently had a volume of 2,593 contracts on Wednesday vs. an average over the prior 20 days of 13. 3G's acquisition of Burger King in 2010 came under similar scrutiny. [View news story]
    I agree the politicians may indeed be the beneficiaries of this frontrunning trade. John Kerry may have communicated to Congress the likely intentions of Americas favorite downhome, folksy crony capitalist Warren Buffet.
    Feb 15, 2013. 09:17 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The SEC reportedly is investigating a surge in trading of Heinz (HNZ) call options on Tuesday, before news the company was being bought by Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) and 3G Capital for $28B, or $72.50 a share. A Heinz $65 call option expiring on June 22 apparently had a volume of 2,593 contracts on Wednesday vs. an average over the prior 20 days of 13. 3G's acquisition of Burger King in 2010 came under similar scrutiny. [View news story]
    SEC will investigate. Nobody will be charged. Nobody will be punished. Basically it will be a "nothing to see here" case closed. There was a HUGE lesson that came out of the Financial Crisis of 2008. The laws of the United States do not apply equally to the largest corporations and their officers.
    Feb 15, 2013. 03:34 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Two U.S. pension funds sue BlackRock (BLK), alleging the asset manager systematically "looted" securities lending revenues from its iShares ETFs by taking 40% of the money for itself. One academic says 20% is a more typical cut, and 35% would be considered "high." [View news story]
    There are two absolutes in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.......1) The Banksters ALWAYS win......2) They NEVER go to jail.
    Feb 3, 2013. 08:43 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment