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mikebrah

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  • BP: Get Ready to See the Amoco Name Again [View article]
    Yes, but BP surely sells gas to the BP gas stations. So if no one bought gas from a BP gas station that should affect BP sales, no? It's a franchise business model.

    I'm aware BP sells to many gas stations, but if BP supplies BP gas stations and people stop buying from BP gas stations then that eventually hits BP sales.

    Most McDonald's are owned by local or small business people. But if it came out that chicken mcnuggets caused cancer, people would stop eating at McDonald's. This would hurt a lot of individual McDonald's owners, but it would definitely hurt McDonald's too.

    It's bad luck for all the individuals that decided to run a BP gas station instead of a QuickTrip or a Conoco but running a business is risky. If you're in the business of selling gasoline, and your distributor makes a catastrophic error then you will suffer the consequences.

    All these suffering businesses can switch their brand at some point, too. This isn't going to permanently destroy every gas station currently operating under BP signage.
    Jul 28, 2010. 07:58 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • June New Home Sales: +23.6% to 330K vs. 311K expected, 267K (revised from 300K) in May. Months' supply 7.6 vs. 8.5 prior. Median price $213,400.  [View news story]
    This seems like a horrible report to me. Sales are up by a big percent only because they revised the previous number from its "worst-ever" reading even lower.

    Maybe I have had my bear-turd colored shades on too long, but I am trying to look at this as impartially as possible and the headline to me is the -33k revision to June's "worst ever" 300k number. That's over 10% reduction to an already awful number.

    Tack, I have followed your comments and appreciate your counter points. Please tell me how this is indicative of the post-tax-rebates gloom being exaggerated.
    Jul 26, 2010. 10:12 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Deflation: Pay Close Attention [View article]
    DISCLAIMER: I'm not actually from MN and have never lived there, just using it as an example!
    Jul 25, 2010. 12:48 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Deflation: Pay Close Attention [View article]
    You are seriously underestimating the adaptive capabilities of humans.

    You are essentially stating that someone who lives in Hawai'i could never live in Minnesota because their wardrobe consists entirely of shirts, shorts and flip flops.

    This is not sound logic. Upon arriving in Minnesota they would say "holy crap, it's cold here!" and go get some proper attire. Maybe they would never truly enjoy the climate, but they would not sit in a blizzard wearing flip flops and shorts.

    Who knows, perhaps they would come to enjoy their new climate. Millions of people live there voluntarily so it's clearly habitable.

    When you (or anyone) suggests deflation is "unacceptable" or even "undesirable" you are just stating your own preference. You are saying, the climate is better in Hawai'i therefore all people should live in Hawai'i because winter is undesirable. I happen to love winter. I love snowsports, I love cold weather. I also enjoy having SEASONS. I've lived in the midwest and in SoCal. Both have distinct advantages that prohibit one from saying either is categorically "better" than the other.

    Deflation is the counter-cyclical balance to inflation. A healthy economic system has bouts of both. Pre-Fed, we constantly drifted back and forth. The value of money, however, never materially changed. When too much deflation occurred, the natural response among the entrepreneurs was to start buying and vice versa with inflation.

    It was not until the Fed attempted to eradicate the business cycle by changing money from the absolute realm to the relative that system actually broke down. It's been an abomination ever since, and every policy move the Fed makes is an attempt to keep it's control over that which it has no rightful ownership-- money.
    Jul 25, 2010. 12:47 PM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • VMware Earnings: Back to Business as Usual [View article]
    $30B market cap for a company with $2B in revenue? Sign me up!
    Jul 21, 2010. 10:54 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ECRI: No Recession Yet [View article]
    If our economy is growing at a lower rate than long term interest rates, it doesn't matter what the economists, politicians, pundits say...we're screwed.
    Jul 21, 2010. 10:41 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's the End of the World As We Know It [View instapost]
    Phil,

    I agree with a lot of your logic. But to suggest it started with Reagan is inaccurate. It started with the inception of the Federal Reserve in 1913.

    None of the crimes and inhumanities of which you speak would be possible without central banks and fiat money. The creation of a faith-based currency of which the elites have total control is the root of all the problems you speak.

    "Borrow and Pretend" can't exist in a world with real money. Widescale accounting fraud can't be perpetually perpetrated without access to a Federal Reserve type institution.

    Again, I empathize with a lot of your writing but it is completely wrong to suggest it was Reagan/Greenspan's fault. It started way before them and they simply played their inevitable role. It was all predestined (along with our eventual downfall) in 1913.
    Jul 17, 2010. 12:11 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Don't believe all the hype - we needed those bailouts! Becky Quick says we've already forgotten about the fall 2008 fear and why the government had to step in, and "the armchair-quarterback lawmakers and candidates who are now second-guessing these moves are dangerous."  [View news story]
    Why are you so quick to dismiss the idea of smaller, leaner competitors stepping up to fill the void?

    Would there be a bumpy transitional period? I'm sure there would be, but assets are assets. Anything of value on the TBTF balance sheets would have been quickly consumed by the thousands of smaller banks in this country and all the crap left over would have been flushed out to sea in the same garbage bag as the memories of the TBTF.

    It's not like we avoided panic by the route we took. People still collectively crapped their pants. And we got a crappy "resolution" to boot.

    We chose the status quo over the integrity of the dollar and that is a choice that is going to haunt this nation for a significant period of time.
    Jul 17, 2010. 11:00 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Unresolved Mortgage Bubble [View article]
    Very powerful graph. Thanks John.
    Jul 16, 2010. 03:51 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ECRI Index Annualized Change Almost a Lock for Double Dip Territory [View article]
    DISCLAIMER: I follow the ECRI indicator closely, follow Rosenberg closely, am an avid reader of Zerohedge.com, and am bearish....

    HOWEVER:
    One counter-argument I will present is that we are coming off a period of the highest EVER reading for the ECRI. It previously touched 30, so I can see this being a time where a -10 reading won't guarantee anything. An abnormally low reading could be offset by that previously abnormally high.

    All that said, I do remain bearish for the markets and the economy.
    Jul 16, 2010. 01:53 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Looking at the likelihood of a "long siege," Paul Krugman advocates a "kitchen sink strategy" - "throwing everything we can," including more stimulus, to stop the slide into another recession. The trouble with that approach, Niall Ferguson says, is that nothing would scare the markets more.  [View news story]
    What do you suggest Paul, should we spend 1 Infinity dollars or 2 Infinity dollars?

    I was thinking 1 Infinity but after seeing how shortly 1 Trillion lasted we better make it 2 Infinity dollars just to be safe.
    Jul 6, 2010. 07:23 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • If Data Are So Good, Why Is Everyone Screaming Double-Dip? [View article]
    Yes...17 months of ZIRP speaks much, Much louder than any manipulable data reports.
    Jun 14, 2010. 09:51 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More than 1,400 former members of Congress, Capitol Hill staffers or federal employees registered as lobbyists on behalf of the financial services industry since the start of 2009, a new study says. For every sitting member of Congress, three former colleagues or government staffers are lobbying for banks.  [View news story]
    Quintessential example of parasitism. This can't last.
    Jun 11, 2010. 02:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Retail Sales' Setback [View article]
    And these are being compared to already awful numbers last year. It seems like anything less than 10% growth over last year should be viewed as cautionary. An outright DROP from last years levels seems like a giant red flag to me. Coupled with the ECRI rolling over hard, 2h10 doesn't look so great to me.
    Jun 11, 2010. 02:26 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The ECRI's Leading Index turns negative for the first time since early 2009, falling to an annualized -3.5% - though the business-cycle watchers say that just means growth is going to slow noticeably. The steep decline in the index suggests GDP growth has peaked for this cycle, not that growth won't continue, chief Lakshman Achuthan says.  [View news story]
    So an unprecedented, multiple $Trillion bailout/stimulus program got us, what, 3 quarters of anemic "growth?" And this launched an 80% rally in the markets?
    Jun 11, 2010. 10:55 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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