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  • The Scariest Chart Ever [View article]
    Oh it's not that scary...

    1. Paulson has made sure that GS and all off-the-books affiliates are solvent and protecting the dollar.
    2. Congress, President Obama, and Bernake have solidarity in cutting spending and protecting the dollar.
    3. China + Japan love USA treasuries and will buy all they can, at ever-increasing premiums.
    4. The Fed has plenty of defaulted MBS papers to totally cover these debts with, anyway.

    So, what's the problem?
    Jan 20 04:10 PM | 40 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Coming Economic Collapse, Part 2 [View article]
    Don't make stuff up.

    If it's that rich, then why are you not in on it? I WISH we could "show up" for 20 years and get 80% of our highest salary, and pass it on to our young wives, etc... whatever...

    I was in a 25-year police retirement program, then a 30-year regular state employee retirement program. The pension return is 6%-6.25% of what we pay into it. When I retire -- at 67 -- I receive the funds based on my life expectancy. If I leave the pension to my wife or kids, they would receive a reduced annuity dividing the funds based on their life expectancy. The only time we do not lose money is if we overshoot our life expectancy. Many states, including mine and almost definitely yours, have made provisions for employees to opt out in favor of 457 defined contribution plans.

    And, since many states have a balanced budget amendment, our funds are actually funded. Why would we point fingers at SSI? SSI is an unfunded Ponzi scheme, and you are not paying into anything - it is a transfer to current retirees. I don't know what you are talking about, but state retirement accounts have little to do with federal economic instability.

    On Jun 08 08:45 AM TeresaE wrote:
    ... Most government employees work less than 25-30 years and retire early. Many retire to go back to work in another government job, thus earning themselves TWO or more government pensions.
    Then those government employees point fingers at Social Security
    as being the problem. SS recipients have to work well into their
    > 60s or 70s to draw back what they paid in. Federal (and many state) employees, only have to show up for a couple
    decades to draw up to 80% of their HIGHEST salaries FOR LIFE. Don't
    > discount their younger spouses drawing checks for their lifetimes
    > too.
    Jun 8 01:25 PM | 19 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Employment: Minimum Wage, Maximum Stupidity [View article]
    When I was an unskilled runt, I made $2.10/hour.
    I worked while going to school. I worked two jobs and made my way up. There were reasons to aspire to something higher.
    After I had employees, I had to pay new people too much at the expense of the better workers. I lost my best employee because I could not pay her what her technical skills were worth, and I wanted her to replace me.
    Your skills are a commodity. You are not ENTITLED to $150/barrel for your oil, if it is not needed. You are not ENTITLED to $12/hour just because you have a pulse. Improve yourself, like the rest of us did, and you'll make money.

    P.s. - Been to England & Ireland. Lots of unemployment, lots of blokes on the dole, despite the wages. Also been to Mexico - lots of people lined up for work, again despite the wages.
    Jul 12 02:53 PM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Barron's Takes Down Cramer, Again [View article]
    Everybody is too hard on Jim Cramer. I make money doing the opposite of whatever he said to do.

    I like how he tells everybody to "BUY" the highest performer in my portfolio and thus give it that little boost to take it to "eleven."

    (Otherwise, I'd consider him just another self-aggrandizing and useless blowhard, if I considered him at all.)
    Feb 8 06:36 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bill Miller: 'The Worst Has Passed' [View article]
    My father worked in a mortuary once. He said the bodies would occasionally sit up, as if they were alive.

    And they did that without trillions of dollars of other-people's-non-exi... money shoved up...

    Sure, numbers will go up for a while. But buying power, employment, productivity, and standard of living are not bullish.
    Jul 24 11:30 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Turning Japanese: The Audacity of Reality (Part 3 of 3) [View article]
    Excellent piece! The author missed one obvious criminal (albeit not CEO) on section 11. " be investigated and prosecuted..."

    Re: Philly Jim "Getting rid of the bad banks by letting them fail will cost taxpayers more than letting them survive and repaying their debts"

    That is what Goldman guys pay the government to tell the media.

    When a bank fails, there is indeed a violent ripple effect. But the end result is that debtholders take possession of the bank.
    I personally lost a ton in a company that loaned stock to Lehman. Do you want to send me a check, since you think it would cost taxpayers less? It sure would cost me less. No, because YOU paying off MY loss is ridiculous!
    Charging every child $7000 in taxes to borrow (other people's non-existent) money for the purpose of collapsing the dollar costs a lot more than letting some corrupt banks be possessed.
    Let the failures fail, and let debtholders take control. It has worked a hundred times in history.
    Jan 30 10:14 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solar: Energy's New Growth Sector [View article]
    Mad Hedgehog Spammer does not read replies.

    He is a litterbug, tossing empty bottles of wisdom out the window of a slowly drifting Buick into the information highway. His illegitimate son, Cetin, sometimes bails him out for DUI (Disseminating Useless Incoherency).

    On Sep 18 01:33 PM ldker wrote:

    > I have seen the guy above, the MAD SPAMMER - posting the same comment
    > on each solar article appearing on Alpha for the past month. Mad,
    > when you do this your credibility goes out the window as it appears
    > to be spam to drum up business for your rinky dink operation. If
    > you have nothing new to add, please stop it.
    Sep 18 03:56 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Won't GM Just Go Away? [View article]
    Re: "General Motors is running around touting cars that nobody wants..."

    How did you miss that last DECADE of massive improvements? GM beat BMW/Mini with turbo direct injection, Ford has better hybrids than Toyota, and they both have quantifiably higher quality.

    Have you seen a Malibu? Can you spell ZR-1?

    With all the problems Detroit faces, pernicious misperceptions from last century may be the worst.
    Jan 14 12:54 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Let's Hope the Auto Bailout Has Failed for Good [View article]
    Did everybody eat a bowl of hate-flake for breakfast today?

    American cars: All posters who made comments on car quality are incorrect. For a decade, GM has been ahead in objectively measurable quailty. Now Ford is doing very well. Ford hybrids are better-executed than Toyota's, and GM has better technology than Honda. Welcome to the 21st century.

    UAW wages: It does not matter if new hires are on par with competitiors. Detroit has hundreds of times as many who are not. It is not fair to cut existing salaries, but it is better than unemployment in the worst state in America. Additionally, the UAW forces automakers to pay employees whether or not a plant is even open! The UAW offered to reduce wages by $.01/hour. No wonder the Senate thought it was a waste to throw money at them. Detroit is not sustainable unless everything is overhauled. No money without guarantee of success is a good idea. Too bad the Senate didn't think about that before the Wall Street bailout.

    Bosun.J: I feel sorry for you. I have been to a lot of countries, and the USA is not bad. If you are that filled with hatred for 300 million innocent working people, then you cannot be bailed out for any amount of money.
    Dec 12 12:31 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Warnings to Precious Metal ETF Investors - Buyer Beware! [View instapost]
    Why have you been supporting UNG (which openly admits to being a paper trading vehicle based on futures contracts) as a good investment, but repeatedly slamming SLV (which does own some physical commodity)?

    I'm all over natural gas as a good LT investment, and I do not have SLV. But I don't understand why UNG would be good, when SLV is so bad for the same reason.
    Jul 17 04:28 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Oil Thesis Buying 101 - Even 'Experts' Mock It [View article]
    This is a good article. I am so confused by perma-bulls in the face of global layoffs and German/American/Japanese manufacturing collapse.

    DTO (or DUG) is a good hedge, because demand destruction could end up measured in *years*, not months.
    But also hold a tiny bit of DXO or ERY: Drilling/exploration/r... are all partially shut down: The crude cannot be pumped, transported, and refined fast enough if either demand rises, or supply gets interrupted, or if the velocity of funny money picks up.
    The way to play this in 2009-10 is both sides of the fence, with a DTO bias.
    But [barring a global depression] after 2011, there are reasons oil could become a true perma-bull.
    Mar 27 11:04 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • CEFs and Return of Capital: Is It as Bad as It Sounds? [View article]
    Fund companies can write as many profuse paragraphs as they want. But for non-active traders, the typical CEF that continually drops in NAvalue will end up being a bad investment.
    Enter the symbols of your favorite return-of-capital funds in the site of your choosing for a long-term chart. Look at the results.
    Then ask, "Do those funds seem like a good investment?"
    Jan 13 07:31 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Invest in Oil Over Alternative Energy [View article]
    All this about wildly spinning blades cracks me up. I have been to wind fields. There are no flocks of dead birds littering the ground. The blades sound like "whoosh! whoosh! whoosh!" hardly a screaming jet. The blades here are made with balsa, not energy-intensive aluminum. Somebody somewhere always has to come up with a B-S excuse why we can't...

    Wind and solar are perfectly complemented by natural gas generators. Natural gas is as green a any fossil fuel could hope to be, the turbine generators can spool up and down qickly to counter the unstable wind & solar supply; and we have an abundance of it. Combine those 3 with any form of kinetic energy storage, and you have extremely low carbon, zero toxic, zero particulate electricity.

    Why does everybody want to make a practical, clean, flexible, and screamingly obvious solution so ridiculously difficult?

    The author's summation is wrong. We do not get our electricity from crude oil. Everybody knows that. Electrical generation and transportation fuel are different. People should be VERY long on oil, but the reasons have nothing to do with the non-sequitars into wind.
    Sep 3 09:41 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Truth About Fossil Fuels and Renewable Energy [View article]
    On Aug 07 09:55 AM chap08 wrote:
    I don't mean to pick on Tony but I highlight his words below .<snip>.. I'm guessing that Tony doesn't really know what our part in global warming is. The reason I'm guessing that is because nobody really knows the answer. There's plenty of evidence on both sides. Have you read it?

    I'm guessing he has.
    Ice & rock testing shows that many times in Earth's history, there was far more CO2 than now, but foliage could could swing it back. There has indeed been an increase in CO2 from fossil fuels, but this increase also comes from breaking the gas exchance cycle through forest destruction. Breathing & cow farts have almost as much effect as our cars on greenhouse gases.

    In addition to reduced foliage, there is solar activity warming everything out to Jupiter, whose red spot is shrinking from "climate change." The [insert political party not-of-your-choosing] are probably responsible, and Europa is threatening sanctions against USA exports.

    Comprehensive alternative energy policy is needed for future energy supply, national security, tech jobs, etc. But if every car on Earth vanished, would the planet cool down? Nope. That paranoid psychosis has been disputed all over the place. We should be exploring reforestation, battery technology, high-power macro-grids, and preparing for expensive crude.

    (Tony's comment was correct, but it does not mean that we should not change our behavoir anyway.)
    Aug 7 11:20 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bank Bailouts - Tell Me Again What the Point Was? [View article]
    On Jul 28 05:40 AM mattm wrote:
    > You're a right wing idiot.


    Thank your for your illuminating analysis of the fractional banking system and its flow of virtual funds. Your metrics dispelling the constraints regarding debt servicing have clearly eliminated any perceptions of currency risk.

    Your comparison of asset-based vs. fiat currencies through history solidly challenges the author's premise.

    Thank you for alerting us to the author's deficiencies relative to your obvious genius. Your thoughtful analysis is quite sufficient to be considered for a message board.

    I wish you well on your future position in Congress.
    Jul 28 11:13 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment