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Albert Meyer

Albert Meyer
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  • Why I Will Start Social Security At Age 62 [View article]
    For young people I suggest you opt out of SS. Not possible? Hey, the Amish opted out. Not Amish? Well, here's a start. This website (see below) is a grassroots attempt to fire up the young to demand a choice whether or not they want to flush 15% of their wages down the toilet every month...

    Social "Security" - Get Me Out Now
    Aug 27, 2014. 10:32 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Taxes Don't Lie [View article]
    Splitting hairs... the point is, over the long-term, when govt. takes from us (through the tax system), in terms of economic growth it is a net negative event. Wealth creation in the private sector > Wealth creation in the public sector (some may question the notion that the government creates enduring and sustainable wealth... just giving govt. benefit of the doubt).

    Not implying from your response, which is much appreciated, that you favor a socialistic approach to governing, but these quotes come to mind in the context of the discussion:


    Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.

    The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.


    The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money.
    Aug 14, 2014. 01:18 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bank Of America Earnings Update: It Beats Estimates But Does That Matter? [View article]
    "... and of course, I can be completely wrong....again."

    Not being unkind here, just asking - a friendly banter. What's that supposed to mean? Sell the stock, but no wait, I might be wrong. I think you mean, stay on the sidelines. That's a valid point, but some of us have taken to the field a year or two ago.

    Some of us bought the stock at $5 (speculative really at that time). Others bought it at $9, at $11... etc. What's your advice to them? Sell?... and put the after tax proceeds to work... where?

    BAC was a $40-plus stock at one time. The only question is: would the price ever get back to $40-plus, and if so, how long will it take? If it takes ten years, those who bought at $15 or below will earn a return of 10.3%-plus p.a. If it takes less than ten years, shareholders are smiling. If it takes longer, your call to sell, or wait or whatever, will look like a smart one.

    That's what long-term investors are banking on, namely, that BAC gets back to $40 and it will not take a decade or longer. In the interim, all the noise and commotion are of little importance. The fact is, we own the stock and our unrealized gains are substantial and we don't foresee any long-term losses... ever. So far so good. Those who tried to scare us out of the stock have some explaining to do. Let's revisit in 2025.
    Jul 16, 2014. 11:59 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fear Not The Street: Bank Of America More Than Prepared For Upcoming Fine [View article]
    Totally disagree with the bashers, but I'll defend their right under the First Amendment to bash to their hearts content. Their bashing tells me more about them than about their ability to properly analyze the prospects for shareholders.
    Jun 19, 2014. 10:25 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fear Not The Street: Bank Of America More Than Prepared For Upcoming Fine [View article]
    We get the government we deserve, which is an indictment against us (not me) for voting these miscreants in both parties to power with such regularity. Insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results - Einstein. There is an alternative, but this is not the place to promote such an idea... good article. Long BAC.
    Jun 19, 2014. 10:22 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Great Correction Of 2014? Don't Drink The Kool-Aid [View article]
    Correct, but smart investors don't invest in companies that enrich insiders through stock option programs at the expense of shareholders. The name a few from the past: Countrywide, Siebel Systems, Maxim, Merrill Lynch, GE, KO (still does), Cisco, etc., etc.

    Stock buybacks that mop up dilution caused by stock-based compensation is just paying compensation through the backdoor. Smart investors move the cash outflows associated with these types of buybacks into the Cash from Operations section to arrive at an adjusted free cash flow number. They make a similar adjustment in the income statement.

    Blame FASB for rules that make it possible for CEO to lie to us by saying that stock-based compensation is a non-cash item (that's manipulation and artificial). Smart investors do not own stocks in companies where CEOs make such a ridiculous claim.
    Jun 11, 2014. 10:36 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Paul Krugman's Fallacies [View article]
    You are setting up straw men to support your argument.

    The private sector consists of private and public corporations. The public corporations you rightfully vilify are in bed with Congress. The greed virus runs through the boardrooms, the lobbyists and into the halls of Congress.

    One example: Sarbanes-Oxley (deeply flawed and compromised due to pressure from special interests) included a provision that mandated the expensing of stock options. (Stock options are insiders favorite tool to raid the corporate treasury) Government, in the form of George Bush (would have been no different, regardless of which party occupied the leadership position in any branch of government at the time), threatened to veto the legislation unless the mandate was removed; which was duly done. (Stock option compensation was not considered an expense, but nonetheless allowed as a tax deduction by the Tax Code as mandated by a corrupt Congress - you can't make it up.)

    SEC chairman, Harvey Pitt, (part of our honorable government, ostensibly there to protect investors at a cost of $50 billion a year), argued that stock option compensation would make US corporations uncompetitive! If insiders are siphoning off profits, they have government to thank for making it easier for them. Astute investors shun companies with insiders that steal their money.

    Offshore accounts are encouraged by the tax system. Put that on the government's side of the ledger. Corporations are acting rationally.

    Offshoring is another rational maneuver. If you were to commit capital to a business and a supplier in another country offers to provide you with components and/or services at a price that beats a domestic supplier, you would make a rational decision and accept the offer. Unlike government, businesses operate in very competitive environments. Consumers are very price sensitive. There is no room for altruism.

    "Governments (enlightened ones, in theory) are in the game to break even, not to score profits. And they get a discount on salary costs due to the returns from income taxes." I'm not sure what your point is here.

    When the government loses $500 million in a failed Solyndra investment, nobody is held accountable. When government expends blood and treasure on a misguided oil war, nobody is held accountable. When government runs up $12 trillions of debt over a period of thirteen years, nobody is held accountable. When government runs up $100 trillion dollars in unfunded mandates, nobody is held accountable.

    For the sake of brevity, I used the Soviet Union, but any country low on the economic freedom index and with big government will fit the bill.

    "Not very rigorous, as you present no method for calculating X or Y." As I said, there are no need for calculations. All you need to do is acknowledge that if you give bureaucrats $100 million dollars they will undoubtedly create jobs as they spend/invest the money. The same $100 million could also create jobs in the private sector. Jobs created in the public sector = X. Jobs created in the private sectors = Y. Anyone who believes that X>Y, i.e., government is best at created jobs, should agitate for much higher taxes. If that is your predisposition, then I grant you that right. That's the beauty of the First Amendment. We can promote our ideologies in full view of the public.

    (I have no brief with the Heritage Foundation. They are a front of the GOP, just like is front of the DNC. These front organizations use a particular issue or issues to dupe donors who have strong loyalties towards the scam being run in the beltway called Congress.)
    Dec 19, 2013. 09:42 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Europe's Inevitable Greek Divorce [View article]
    Maybe scarkmott runs his own business and has lots of experience dealing with friendly regulators and their clueless box ticking rules. If he does not run his own business, he'd better not consider it, because nothing disabuses the notion that regulations are good for business than firsthand experience. Oh, pardon me. Just noted, our mutual friend, scrakmott, is in the executive search business, one that is thankfully relatively free of bureaucratic interference. Some of us get lucky once in a while.
    Feb 23, 2012. 12:12 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Charting The Recovery [View article]
    On the contrary. If deficit spending benefited the economy, we should be looking at a 3% unemployment rate with the national deficit having gone up from $5 trillion in 2000 to $15 trillion by 2011. Nothing destroys business confidence than "stimulus" spending, that is, an increase role of government in the economy.

    Take a hundred million dollars from taxpayers and give it to the government. The government will spend it, and in the process, sustain and create jobs. How many? Let’s say, [A].

    Allow taxpayers to retain the one hundred million dollars. They will invest and spend it, and in the process, sustain and create jobs. How many? Let’s say, [B].

    If [A]>[B], then we should give government virtually all of our hard earned wages. The Soviet Union was run on the basis that [A]>[B]. Case closed.

    As [B]>[A], as is always the case, we must only give so much of our hard-earned wages to government as are needed to support essential services, both at Federal and State level. (Shrinking the size of government at Federal level, only to expand it at State level accomplishes nothing.)

    Side note: When the government borrows money, it might create jobs, but the impact is temporary and illusionary, because future tax revenues applied to interest payments and debt redemption will hamper job growth. Increase national debts also undermines business confidence. Deficit spending, especially on a sustained basis, is highly immoral, but by the time our children and grandchildren come to recognize the "morality" of the debt burden that they have inherited, it will be too late - debt slavery makes for a band economic scenario. The culprits in Washington will be dead and buried. Their only legacy: mountains of debt.

    Now for an example, to illustrate the point, but I am not going to mention the name of this country. In the past, when I have mentioned the name, people without any proper rebuttals, always drag up some irrelevant fact about the country’s social policies or whatnot.

    This country became independent about 45 years ago, at which time it had per capita income of $600, below that of Guatemala. The country’s economy grew on average at 9% p.a. since then. Today, it is the 4th wealthiest country in the world on a per capita basis, with GDP per capita of approximately $50,000 – no need to debate welfare or entitlement programs in such an economic environment. The country has no natural resources. Government spending is equal to about 12.5% of GDP. The highest individual tax rate is 20% and the corporate tax rate is 18%, but many US corporations have relocated their manufacturing facilities to this country and, consequently, enjoy a tax holiday. The unemployment rate is below 4%. The government runs a budget surplus. Its leaders are the highest paid politicians in the world – now that’s an incentive for the likes of Gingrich and Santorum.

    Job Creation 101: Limited government and low taxes.
    Feb 22, 2012. 11:28 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Statoil: Net Income and Dividend Growth [View article]
    "This dividend is subject to a 15% Norwegian withholding tax and as such is best held in a taxable account."

    Correct, only in a taxable account. You can claim the foreign tax credit, hence the tax is tax neutral. If STO was a local company you would have paid the IRS 15%. Now you pay the Norwegian government and the IRS gives you a tax credit against your taxes on dividends. Apologies if I'm preaching to the choir. Let me try and do better:

    The company has a a board of directors and a corporate assembly, the latter taking fiduciary responsibility for the actions of the directors. Consequently, the total compensation (all paid in cash - no stock options to dilute shareholders) of executives, board and corporate assembly is less than Exxon's CEO's cash compensation and about a third of his total annual compensation. Check the long-term charts of STO and XOM. All that executive compensation at XOM does not buy shareholders superior returns, more so, considering that STO's tax rate is 65%.
    Jul 8, 2011. 10:49 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Who Should an Investor Believe: The Natural Gas Industry or The New York Times? [View article]
    Thank goodness Rove is not a daily dose... it would be an insult to good bird poop to allow it to fall on a Rove diatribe.
    Jun 30, 2011. 01:02 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How China Can Successfully Dump Their Dollars [View article]
    ... and the US is pouring over a trillion dollars down a rat hole called "making the world safe for democracy." We deserve the government we get. (Is it time for the "isolationists" - as John McCain calls them - to unite and revolt? Me thinks so.)
    Dec 21, 2010. 02:52 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cisco: A Good Margin of Safety [View article]
    "Everybody does it is no excuse." This is why US investors are looking at a "lost decade." Corporate America has siphoned off their retirement savings in a deft manner through stock option programs.

    Now I'm self-serving, but look at the portfolio of Mirzam Capital Appreciation Fund [MIRZX] - currently a 5 star rating on Morning Star website. There you will find a portfolio of companies that take care of shareholders and pay modest compensation to executives. Back test the past ten-year returns of these companies against Cisco – no dead decade.

    Cisco is a good company, but that does not make it a good investment.
    Nov 17, 2010. 01:07 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Goldman Hearings [View article]
    Sanitychecker: "I would like to apologize for Congress. The Senators on the panel were an embarrassment....The Senators weren't asking questions. They were either badgering or grand standing and quite frankly wasted my time and taxpayers money... It would be worthy of Abbot and Costello if it weren't so sad!"

    Could not agree with you more. I watched some of it on the BBC website. I cringed and secretly hoped nobody in the UK were watching these bumbling idiots grandstanding. Who voted Levin into office?
    Apr 28, 2010. 10:25 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Telefonica: Increasing High Dividends, Improving Revenue Outlook [View article]
    The company buys call options that match the few options that it grants executives. Consequently, shareholders do not suffer any dilution and there is no need to rely on guesstimates to calculate the cost of options - truly unique and illustrative of the commitment to shareholders.

    My only concern is management's overtures to debt-ridden Telecom Italia. I'm long TEF.
    Mar 1, 2010. 10:48 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment