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  • Existing Home Sales Drop Unexpectedly In April - Underlying Data Is Bearish [View article]

    This is a noteworthy drop but I calculate the one month decline in annualized sales is three percent....not the end of the world yet...but something to monitor if the number continues to drop.

    Many major markets are reporting tight rental housing and renters paying substantial portions of their income to just have the investors who leverage to buy rental property are at least providing some supply for the demand just because the homes will not be owner occupied. And the hard asset of the real estate might be a better investment right now than the bubbly stock market over the long term....if the investor can keep the property rented.

    The Federal Reserve will continue to do all it can to inflate the values of assets held by the more well off, whom it serves.
    May 27, 2015. 09:26 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Lexington Realty's 7.5% Yield Too Good To Be True? [View article]
    Excellent article. Looks like sound dividend yield though the broader market is in steady retreat so capital in LXP could be eroded until there is a future bottom and then rebound. Richjoy was kind to share his timing experience, which many of us know the pain of.
    May 12, 2015. 10:32 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Viking Economies - A Real Surprise! [View article]

    Cold and snow winter weather must be better for economic health than warm climates.
    May 6, 2015. 11:27 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Expect Chaos If The Fed Moves Quickly [View article]

    What a tangled web they weave...

    Agree with the comment that a 3 percent hike in just two years would be a huge jar for the paper markets in bonds and equities.

    If this actually resulted in banks paying savers 3 percent hordes of people now investing in stocks with 3 percent or lower yields will think of swapping their stocks for cash for the safety -- if they can keep all their savings accounts below the current FDIC limits for insurance.

    People holding huge amounts of stock can go to cash.... and then worry about the solvency of the financial sector like they now worry about equities and bonds.

    But if the hike in the discount rate just boosts borrowing rates and banks keep stiffing bank savings accounts with zero rates.... then maybe investors will have to keep investing in equities unless they think zero percent interest is better than 20 percent capital losses.
    May 6, 2015. 11:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's A Hill Street Blues Financial World- Be Careful, Its Dangerous Out There [View article]
    The central bank is doing what Henry Paulson said it had to do... prop up Wall Street so that bankers would not end up rioting in the streets. This goal has been Wall Street bankers have resorted to rioting.

    Unfortunately, the Fed has not been able to stimulate the broader Main Street economy.

    A tally of major retailers indicates 6,000 stores will be closing nationwide in the coming years.

    However, in a population of 300 million this degree of restructuring may not be that significant. The article cited above though does quote sources saying consumer spending is declining.

    One of the causes for the spending decline, just one, is that more and more Americans are paying more and more for housing.

    Despite one fourth of the work force being idled -- including discouraged job seekers and retirees who would rather be working -- prices have not declined as they did in the Great Depression so that falling incomes could somewhat weather the storm.

    As Stockman notes, the central bank has done an effective job of inflating the housing market and staving off total collapse there just as it has propped up the Wall Street equities market and fought off total collapse there as well. Not just homes but apartments, which now consume up to half the monthly income of almost half the nation. Congress also helped the Fed by encouraging a flood of legal and illegal immigrants so that marginal urban centers such as Minneapolis are seeing 65,000 applicants for 1,500 new affordable housing units in that urban area. There is no relief for the blue collar renter as there has been for the Wall Street whiz.

    Back in the Great Depression prices fell because the Federal Reserve was more austere even though I seem to recall Marriner Eccles wanted the central bank to be more loose but back in those days apparently the wider Federal Reserve board could easily over ride a figure head Fed chairman from a backwater area like Utah. Again, this vague summary is my recollection of what I have read in the past.

    In some far off future decade, if the nation survives that long and the current Congress gets to receive its full salary pensions from their excellent over sight of the nation.... a future Federal Reserve chairman and board may finally get it right and figure out how to stimulate Wall Street and Main Street and achieve restoration of full employment in mere months when the economic gurus and wizards analyze and review the current mess and determine what went wrong and what went right.

    In any event, corporations and bubbles and even the United States may pass away....but the Federal Reserve will live on. There is no way to kill it.
    May 4, 2015. 03:24 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Fed's As Confused As Everyone Else [View article]

    Three fourths of the pre 2008 economy is recovered....or at least continuing on.... but the Fed of course will not be the entity that restores high paying jobs sent overseas, permanent losses that created poverty and despair for urban areas such as Baltimore.

    Inflating the asset values held by the elites only makes the elites more rich and secure so that they will not have to, as Hank Paulson warned, riot in the streets.
    May 1, 2015. 10:10 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dave Ramsey's 12% Return Strategy Is Replicable [View article]

    It's my understanding that usury is interest charges higher than around 4 percent or so. Good point.
    Apr 25, 2015. 01:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sovereign Default And The Impending Greek Reverberation [View article]
    this has been so widely discussed and anticipated the current market should have a default priced in already because the market is traded and overseen by the brightest minds on earth.

    If the market panics over a country that small defaulting then I would say no more bailouts for the useless idiots who pretend to be important because they have control over such huge amounts of investment capital because of their alleged hubris and skills.

    Don't those trillions of derivatives have all this debt covered and offset to zero so that markets won't panic and be disruptive? - Yeah, sure.
    Apr 20, 2015. 02:32 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What The 1st 5-Day Low In A While Has Led To Historically [View article]
    The numbers would have to be crunched to prove that bet. This posting studied just the first five days after a five day low closing.

    I do not do short term trading but this useful for those who do.... though of course these are averages and a specific trade expecting these results can result in a loss if the market prices deviate from the statistical average on the downward side.
    Apr 20, 2015. 02:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What's So Special About One Liberty Properties' 6.6% Yield? [View article]
    Good article and good digging into the underlying assets of this REIT. However, I would just point out that I have driven through a couple of grimy, gritty industrial, storage, manufacturing areas that are populated by the kind of buildings you highlight in this essay.

    But even though these grimy areas are not Class A a lot of work and production and warehousing gets done in them and thus these unattractive, deteriorating, old old buildings still generate income. And their square footage under roof might be more expensive to replicate and duplicate today....though modern design and materials might make newer structures more efficient and productive.

    Having said money can still be squeezed out of subprime industrial buildings...I will concede deterioration and obsolescence can accumulate to the point that grimy gritty locales do just become empty and unused.

    Last year a Minnesota businessman bought the Minneapolis Star Tribune and he freely said the paper and industry are in a slow death spiral, but even so, he said money can still be squeezed out of the business in its slow death spiral.

    Still, this essay looks at more than the absent gloss and glitter, it notes the concentration of tenants ... but again you point out that Haverty survived the 2008-9 panic and is that perhaps because it seems bottom line efficiency from getting work done without having to pay extra for a gleaming work palace?
    Apr 14, 2015. 10:52 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Royal Dutch Shell Really Acquired BG Group [View article]

    Good comment. Something T Boone Pickens might have said. I read both of Pickens' biographies and got to ask him a few questions once when I was a news reporter - and he repeatedly gave anecdotes about how clubby and inbred and inefficient the big oil operators were. But these same CEO's are good bird hunters...

    Your comment about Cook is all we need to know about the protective Machiavellian back stabbing. Shareholders get the shaft too when companies are run inefficiently by ceo's who reward themselves well for their networking.

    Just remember though energy is an important component of the western world and the guys at the top have connections and may have agendas to follow that sometimes extend beyond shareholders, who in the end are just along for the ride.
    Apr 14, 2015. 10:31 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My K.I.S.S. Dividend Portfolio: 1st Quarter 2015 Update [View article]

    Praise for your transparency and explanations that further clarify your strategy.
    Apr 13, 2015. 04:07 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 15 Years Of Stimulus: Nothing To Show [View article]
    Except the U S is not going down without yet another war...the latest: the nonsense invasion of Ukraine by violent overthrow, followed by Congressional approval of more lethal aid funding.

    What else can the U S leadership do to try and maintain the image of leadership? - It has little recent history of positive world building through financially sound peace and prosperity projects (which does not include economic hit men that Perkins writes about autobiographically).
    Apr 8, 2015. 11:33 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Berkshire mobile homes unit accused of predatory tactics [View news story]

    Great idea. But in our dog eat dog world great ideas for promoting fairness are suppressed or ignored.

    Huge numbers of foreigners are crowding into subsidized and affordable housing within the U S, thus forcing American Americans to pay much more for rents in the open market or become trapped in these mobile home deals.

    Predatory lending is a way of life ever since the Vatican dropped bans on usury centuries ago. Consumers do not have the will to boycott.
    Apr 6, 2015. 03:32 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • International Shipholding Corporation: A Combination Of Downside Protection And Upside Potential At An Attractive Price [View article]
    Thanks for the analysis. Holding ISH for the long term.
    Apr 4, 2015. 09:33 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment