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  • For BP, the legal hassles never end [View news story]
    I can't remember. Did BP and their pensioners ever pay the American taxpayer back for Operation Ajax and the repatriation of all your assets in Iran?

    Been quite a shake-down.
    Feb 14 09:58 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Debit Cards Introduced In Myanmar [View instapost]
    Yeah!!!!! Advancing so fast that one might think its a fraud, or at least unsustainable.

    We have an emerging markets cheerleading squad right here on SA. John and Jon, you guys get letter sweaters. GO TEAM.
    Oct 29 01:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mongolian Growth Group: A Pick And Shovel But Not For Commodities [View article]
    Nice plug. I rest my case.
    Oct 15 03:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mongolian Growth Group: A Pick And Shovel But Not For Commodities [View article]
    My six year grudge? As we discussed privately, and at length, I was solicited as recently as 2 years ago to be part of Harris' traveling circus. Due to damages suffered in the past I declined.

    Why did I really walk away? How about telling readers what it is exactly that you are insinuating. I told you why.

    Good luck with your new 'job.' I get the feeling that you won't upset the new normal in journalism one bit.
    Oct 15 03:01 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Mongolian Growth Group: A Pick And Shovel But Not For Commodities [View article]
    Jon you're awfully quick and awfully sharp to call into doubt every claim I make, and your tone now makes me doubt my initial impression of you as an impartial journalist.

    My comments stand as a counterpoint to all those on this site whose work is in some way colored by their financial or career aspirations. With regard to your points:

    -Polomny: Newsletter writer for payment, past or present

    -Chris Tell: Meet and Greet organizer for payment ($7500 isn't for a Mongolian sun tan. How much is the Fiji trip?)

    -Epstein: Former industry insider and regional paid consultant

    -Fleckenstein: Personal friend of CEO, Director, paid newsletter writer. As a former hedge fund manager was sued by clients for trade misallocation between personal accounts and client accounts.

    Jon you can feel free to criticize what I say here, but your frantic defense is a bit pathetic when it is clear that a countervailing perspective is valuable here. Additionally by running my claims past Harris you run the risk like the errand boy to a shark. Perhaps you should read Jack Abramoff or Lawrence Lessig on the subtle ways in which conflicts of interest corrupts debate.
    Sep 23 12:01 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Mongolian Growth Group: A Pick And Shovel But Not For Commodities [View article]
    Funny, I come on here with hard numbers and get zero "likes" while the author says numbers are minimally important and gets 4 "likes." Is this Yahoo finance or a serious forum for investing ideas and information?

    If the author's comment is to be taken at face value, then what he means here is that an investment in this paper is simply a bet on a twist of the greater fool theory. You're betting on monetary policy in the 1st world gaining significant inflationary traction this late into a global inflationary bubble, and you're betting that someone will come along and take derivative paper off your hands that you are acquiring here at a punishing multiple of the value of the underlying. That's fine if you want to do that but I'd suggest that a "small chip" is all that you put into it, and do so with your eyes wide open.

    I'd also suggest that potential investors to this stock consider the number of people commenting and writing on this site who are selling something related to the market and in particular Mongolia. Chris Tell sells a very expensive advisory service ($7500?) for people who want to get into placements in Mongolia, John Polomny sells a newsletter about frontier markets, Peter Epstein appears to have working in these markets as a fee-based consultant. I can tell you from personal experience that Harris Kupperman has a history of using newsletter writers (ie. Bill Fleckenstein) to promote stocks. Temper your excitement with these facts, and if you can afford to go to Mongolia then I'd suggest doing your own due diligence without these interpretive lenses seeing for you before investing any significant funds.
    Sep 23 09:15 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mongolian Growth Group: A Pick And Shovel But Not For Commodities [View article]

    Here are some rough numbers: For every square meter of land this company buys for $2000, you pay $5000 to participate. The $2k is being paid to sweep offers and find land that otherwise might not be for sale, and in a market where very recently $800 or $1000/M2 might be considered a high price. The manager of this outfit was badly burned in illiquid mining stocks in 2008, was lectured by one of the most prominent hedge fund managers in the world about liquidity and leverage, and has gone about side-stepping accreditation requirements to sell highly illiquid products through the public markets to the general investing public.
    Aug 31 11:45 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • CMS Coverage Big Positive For Cytomedix [View article]
    Kenny, what makes you think an analyst can explain price movements?

    An analyst has a job - to help you understock the underlying company's financial prospects. If those prospects translate into bullish or bearish price movements in the public realm then good for you, depending upon which side of the market you are betting. Analysts are the worst possible people to ask to explain why a stock has moved a certain way.

    I'm a trader, not an analyst, and the proper genre of person to ask. You can certainly take my answer for what it is worth, which is exactly 2x as valuable as the answer of an analyst: The stock sold off because people misread the press report, as it was meant to misread by the Public Relations people who wrote it. People thought that this company's product was approved, when in reality it was only conditionally approved. When combined with the natural tendency of markets to "buy the rumor, sell the news" this led to a huge sell-off (ie, people were buying the rumor that the product was approved).

    Now if you have even a scintilla of expectation that this product will actually be approved by Medicare then you should buy the shit out of it (or the foreskin out of it), as all of the risk of failure is now priced in thanks to the misunderstanding by the trading community (except for actual failure which will probably take this thing back to 0.50/share) due to their mis-reading of the news.
    Jul 9 06:07 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Thoughts On Mongolia Growth Group's Mandal Insurance Unit [View article]
    My comment alluding to the need to mandate insurance through political manipulation is related exactly to this.

    A people that have lived with the risks of those in Mongolia could give a shit about auto insurance. How culturally insensitive to think that a New Yorker could assume a business such as insurance could be lucrative simply because the auto count increases without taking into account the mentality and experiences of the general population.

    Clearly a people who have lived with the perpetual threat of a dzud killing the very livestock they depend upon for their daily survival would flock to car insurance. A fender bender is just so scary.
    Jun 10 05:34 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • New Reasons BP Could Rise 30% By Next Summer [View article]
    The final legal overhangs on this need to be cleared, then maybe its a trade. Significant legal liabilities still haunt this company. Underlying trends for oil could be too scary for this to be much of a long term gainer though, and I think your R/R scenario is poor.
    Jun 5 02:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Thoughts On Mongolia Growth Group's Mandal Insurance Unit [View article]
    Ok, since I came out of the gate critical I now have to defend the other side if I hope to appear even remotely objective.

    The majority of public companies, if you include the pinks, are as you describe. God only knows how all this emerging market growth will perpetuate that tendency. In the case of this company, despite my own comments, I don't think you are witnessing that phenomenon. The CEO of MGG, despite being manipulative and prone to extreme exaggeration, is no crook. You are witnessing an authentic attempt to harness growth in the most leveraged way possible and by buying this stock you can participate in that effort. Just realize that there are indeed "hands in the cookie jar" and you are also paying for ridiculously expensive legal and audit work from boutique firms, hotel rooms at the most expensive rates possible, and silly other ancillary costs. Harris Kupperman is well aware that growth heals all sins and can spend like a "drunken sailor" as long as he has a tailwind in the growth department. Witness John Polomny's comments above and see how people feel when they bank a questions are asked despite the fact that profits may have been 20% higher with a more disciplined SG&A line item.

    In many ways this idea is a stock market vehicle, but management aren't crooks. What they really are is brilliant, sloppy, and wild and investing alongside them can make you broke or rich with no guarantee of either. Buyer beware.
    May 30 09:28 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ivanhoe Mines: Nothing Much Has Changed [View article]
    Well if RIO wanted Ivanhoe cheap then releasing these earnings wih the impairment charge into today's market environment is one way to do it. Quite the bloodbath out there on the metals and the miners, and with all the Euro uncertainty we don't even know if Chinese gold buying is genuine or just a flight to quality. One would certainly think that a bottom in IVN should be near, but I can't remember a stock with so many overhangs either.
    May 16 12:24 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • CMS Coverage Big Positive For Cytomedix [View article]
    Would the company likely plow all the additional cash flow from this into growth and overhead or is it possible that the "partner" announcement might some kind of fee-simple licensing deal? And can someone clarify for me if the coverage is definitive for GI wound care or is covered only in cases of clinical trials? Thanks and congrats to the longs here.
    May 15 12:17 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Thoughts On Mongolia Growth Group's Mandal Insurance Unit [View article]
    I was the first employee, and a partner in the firm. I left in early 2006 when there were 6 employees and about 2 years before they wiped out. I was the only employee to leave voluntarily, "on the way up."

    I'll apologize here for this getting out of hand and for my stepping all over Jon's excellent writing. My intent was primarily to criticize a comment by another author, Free Cash Flow 50, and I should have taken much of this to that thread. I'm done commenting here, and you can take my comments for what they are worth. Depending on your attitude towards information I've either helped or hurt the thesis here but I certainly have not meant to imply that the basic thesis for this investment might not be sound.

    Thanks to Jon for this updates and threads on Mongolia which I will continue to follow closely.
    May 12 04:11 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Thoughts On Mongolia Growth Group's Mandal Insurance Unit [View article]
    "Insinuation is not synonymous with illumination." That's correct. I'm providing some potentially useful pieces of the puzzle for the disadvantaged buy-side.

    Jon, my silence in the years since direct exposure have been based on an assumption of change on his part. Now that I see a new endeavour exposing 60 employees and many more stakeholders to his risk taking, I feel it's incumbent on me to voice my concerns. This operation is based on playing games not just with financial capital but with human capital and by someone who has a track record of very little respect for the latter. If this thing flies then fine, but if there's another crack-up then the collateral damage will be substantial.

    I've called investor relations several times over the past 2 weeks at Andean American Mining, where the previous chief analyst from Praetorian Capital, Mark Zabel, worked as a vice president. They don't answer their phones. Let's hope the deafening silence on the other end of the line there never happens with this company.
    May 11 03:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment