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  • What Mitt Might Mean For Stocks [View article]
    First, officers of a company have two fiduciary duties; Duty of Care and Duty of Loyalty. Neither is a fiduciary duty to earn a profit.

    Second, it's sad that you feel that "everyone" is primarily concerned with earning money for themselves. I know many people (even a few great CEO's) who do not feel this way. Many people do not let greed rule their business decisions and lives.

    What you just hit on is the exact reason people are sleeping at in tents across the country. Greed. Greed in the C-suite, in Wall Street, on K Street and on Capital Hill.

    Third, you say "giving them policies to spur investment" how exactly do no strings attached tax cuts (as Romney proposes) equal increased hiring and investment? I'm still waiting for an independent study to confirm any link between the two. I would love for you to provide that link.

    The reality is simple. Businesses invest and hire when there is an acceptable ROI on that investment or employee. If they wake up one day and say wow, I just got a tax cut, they don't just go spending and hiring like their is no tomorrow. They simply pocket the cash. For the life of me, I cannot understand how any business person can say with straight face that cutting taxes will increase hiring and investment. Yet, you have an entire political party based around that single flawed concept.
    Jan 4 05:57 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Mitt Might Mean For Stocks [View article]
    "their feelings matter because it is up to them to invest in the United States and truly spark an economic recovery."

    Sorry, these so called business leaders are the ones who have failed the US for the last decade. By mercilessly slashing jobs, shipping jobs overseas, failing to increase wages, and failing to invest in R&D these "business leaders" are at the core of the problem. They have gotten rich at the expense of the US economy.

    US Corporations are making record profits and have record amounts of cash of their books, yet, they fail to hire, fail to bring back jobs from overseas, and fail to invest. The only thing the C-suite makes sure of is that they hit their bonus and option payouts.

    The notion that these "business leaders" somehow care about America is joke.
    Jan 4 09:05 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fixing Wall Street: Cutting The Gordian Knot [View article]
    Corporate profits are at near all-time highs. MBA's probably have a lot to do with that. I'm not sure the purpose of generalizing all MBA's into this category of "evil", but from my vantage point the problem has more to do with greed and corruption than a college degree.
    Oct 18 08:40 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fixing Wall Street: Cutting The Gordian Knot [View article]
    "The reality of the pay scales is up to the owners of the company"

    As a shareholder, when was the last time you had any influence whatsoever over executive pay?
    Oct 18 08:29 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fixing Wall Street: Cutting The Gordian Knot [View article]
    Great article.

    The one thought that gets lost in the shuffle is the issue of exploding C-Suite pay when compared to the average worker.

    One could argue that wage stagnation is a direct result of weak corporate governence...CEO's keep excess profits for themselves instead of paying fairer wages or hiring. C-Suite pay is simply out of control.

    These excecutives have more direct power of the economy than most politicians through their compensation decisions. Unfortuntely, most CEO's are arrogent and greedy and would rather keep that $50M bonus for themselves (that 3rd summer home in France is 100% necessary) than pay it out to thousands of others.

    Greed is also a major part of our problem.
    Oct 17 10:52 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fixing Wall Street: It's Time To Break The Axis Of Artifice [View article]
    Great synopsis.

    The one point I would add would that always gets missed is the ratio of CEO/Excecutive pay to avg. worker pay and what I call the "the CEO Dillema". This dynamic alone explains (in part) wealth concentration, economic growth without job growth, wage declines and the shrinking middle class.

    A CEO in corporate america has a choice... Do I make $50M/year and not lay-off people, or do I make $100/year and lay off thousands. This is the result of a weak corporate governance structure.

    The same thing could be said about declining incomes. Since 2000, executive pay has soared, while the other 99% pay has declined. Greed at it's finest.

    If every CEO in the US would cap their pay, use that pay to either pay their existing workers more or hire, there would be a huge dent in a lot of our woes.

    But hey, I'm sure that new Ferrari is a must have to park next to the other 15 in the garage.
    Oct 14 11:33 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Electric Vehicles Finally Go Mainstream? [View article]
    My point about HY is that it is a much more sustainable source of energy as opposed to EV. If I was building infrastructure from scratch today and had to choose between HY and Charging Stations, I would doubt anyone would choose Charging Stations.

    Respectfully, I disagree that the grid in it's current form is capable of efficiently delivering electric fuel to the masses. If you want to see how fragile the grid is, you have to look no further than the rolling blackouts that took place the past few summers in the NE.

    While I wouldn't argue that the majority of "non-work" trips aren't under 2 miles, I feel you are missing the point. Consumers don't buy things necessarily for how they use the product, they buy things for the potential to use the product. For example, people who use their computers to check email and surf the web often buy expensive computers with far more computing power than they will ever need. Why? Because if they do decide to use the computer differently they have the potential to do so. What ends up happening is that the far majority of people never use 1/10 of the computing power of their computer. So I think using an "urban science" degree to predict consumer behavior (I have an MBA in marketing) is a very dangerous thing to do.

    My only point is that EV is not the be all end all and from a stock perspective, I wouldn't bet the house on it. I feel you are overestimating the potential and brushing aside the major issues with the product.
    Mar 30 08:50 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Electric Vehicles Finally Go Mainstream? [View article]
    There are numerous reason why the auto experts (IE: JD Power RE: JD Power Drive Green 2020 Report) do not expect EV sales to be significant until at the earliest 2020.

    Ignoring the whole green debate (which i personally think is a major issue), they are simply not practical to the far majority of Americans. Plain and simple.

    Charging is the major issue. First, no infrastructure. Second, charging times. You can't just pull off the highway and be charged up in 5 minutes and be on your way. So if you're planning on taking a roadtrip, EV's are not for you.

    Hybrid's will be the "bridge" technology to something far better than EV (IE: natural gas and hydrogen). EV's will never be a major player.
    Mar 29 09:22 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Auto Sales Recovery? Investors Are Being Taken for a Ride [View article]
    As someone who works in the auto industry in sales forecasting, I can assure you that the flaws of the SAAR are well known.

    First, depending on which source you use you would get different SAAR numbers. In any given month, the leading SAAR publishers (JD Power, Edmunds, Global Insight, RL Polk, and Autodata) will have different sales figures and different SAAR numbers. Sometimes the SAAR difference is due to the sales figures, sometimes it can be due to the SAAR formula (which is different for each company and somewhat subjective). There is no exact way to count up all the sales that took place in any given month. Right there is a great amount of uncertainty.

    Next, as you alluded to, the Retail/Fleet split of the overall SAAR and sales figures is critical in making any yr/yr analysis. This split is usually estimated by the SAAR publishers (if published at all) and can be more art than science. This Retail/Fleet split can easily be manipulated to make the retail numbers look better or worse. When looking at the question of "are auto sales good or bad this month" you must look at the Retail and Fleet channels separately. Looking at a combined number and trying to evaluate could lead to false conclusions.

    Finally, SAAR estimates rarely translate into actual registrations (which is a far better, albeit less available and timely, way of analyzing sales ). This further complicates the SAAR (meaning a car that shows up a sales, may actually be headed to another country... is that really a US car sale?).

    So is the SAAR perfect, no. Is it an indicator of sales performance, yes. Is it the only thing you should look at when evaluating auto sales, absolutely not. Looking at the month/month and yr/yr trends in both absolute numbers and on a SAAR basis is a worthwhile exercise. For that I say the author is correct in his assertion. However, to look at one trend in a vacuum and make conclusions based on one that trend, is not exactly how I would analyze things either.

    My personal take: Retail auto sales have seen a VERY modest lift in 2010 from 2009. This small increase will continue into in 2011. Fleet however, has seen a HUGE lift in 2010 compared to 2009.
    Nov 29 01:36 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Auto Sales Recovery? Investors Are Being Taken for a Ride [View article]
    "This is further proof that if you build a quality vehicle, people will buy it."

    WRONG. Actually if you build an OK vehicle and have the media/government attack your greatest comptitors competitive advantage with made-up claims (Toyota's magical unintented acceleration), THEN people will buy their vehicles.
    Nov 29 11:56 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Auto Sales Stall as Economy Waffles [View article]
    Amazingly the "smart guys" at Edmunds, JD Power and Global Insight are still predicting robust growth in 2011 and 2012. These forecasts from the "industry experts" are what OEM's use to set their production schedules. This will inevitably lead to one of two outcomes... a potential inventory bubble or increased incentives (less profit) in order to move the metal.

    You are spot on that the Home ATM is gone and that is what supported an auto SAAR of 16-17M. The new world could possibly support a 14-15M SAAR, but certainly not for a few years.

    Cars last longer now fueling robust growth in the used-car market. The 12M annual replacement demand has to be challenged due to the improved quality in all brands and the huge warrenties being rolled out (100K+ warrenties... some dealers even have lifetime warerenties).
    Sep 10 10:00 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Toyota Crashes Not Caused by Engineering Problems [View article]
    First, your statistics are very misguided. If you look at the reported cases of unintentended acceleration in absolute numbers, yes Toyota looks high. BUT if you look at relative to the number of cars in operations by the brand, they are actually one of the lowest.

    Second, even ignoring my first point, NASA, NHTSA, and basically every auto engineer in the country can't find a problem. But yet you are still sticking with the "it must be even though there is no evidence" theory.
    Aug 11 02:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Toyota Crashes Not Caused by Engineering Problems [View article]
    I agree with your comment in general, however, the British Petroleum example is not good instance of this bias.

    BP clearly was at fault through an elaborate system of cutting corners, ignoring warning signs, and a blatent disregard for safety. As a result you have people dead, livelyhoods taken away, and Billions in untold economic and environmental damage. BP should get everything that's coming to them. What Obama chooses to call them is irrelevent. In fact I think the White House has gone easy on them.

    Toyota on the other hand got raked over the coals for a problem that NHTSA, NASA, and basically every engineer in the country cannot even pinpoint. The media just loved publishing the heartbreaking stories of cars going out of control, with absolutely no evidence of anything. And this curiously happens while the US Government owns Toyota's biggest competitor. That's a witch hunt on a foreign corporation.

    Even at it's max, Toyota's "problems" have impacted the lives a less then 100 people. Not so for BP's very real problems.
    Aug 11 08:43 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • What Toyota Probes Are Likely to Find [View article]
    Great article that is based in reality. It's a shame most media outlets would rather highten fears than calm them...and even some Govt officials as well (ahem, Lahood).
    Apr 2 09:46 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Toyota Investors, Customers Remain Loyal [View article]
    Your username says it all.
    Mar 3 11:53 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment