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Roadstar Biker

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  • Initial Jobless Claims jumps 16K to 326K [View news story]
    3 million job openings left unfilled...

    Maybe spending so much time focused on sports, binge drinking and mating wasn't the best use of some people's college years. Having interviewed so many recent college grads, my experience is that a college degree is not worth much these days.

    How many times have you heard grown adults freely admit they're not good at math? (Might as well admit you're illiterate too). Or what about the horrible quality of written communication? When someone arrives from India with a significantly stronger command of English grammar and vocabulary, you have to wonder why so many Americans have lost their ability to communicate at an adult level in their native language. Its no wonder the US continues to loose its competitive edge.

    Next time anyone wants to rail against the sad employment picture in the US, remember what the cartoon character Pogo famously said "We have seen the enemy, and he is us".
    Apr 3 01:06 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • MannKind's Latest Critic: The FDA Has Joined The Chorus Of Missing Data Concerns [View article]
    Will be interesting to see where the price goes now that the Adcom voted to approve. We'll have to wait until trading on MNKD is resumed. Anyone know when that will be?
    Apr 1 05:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • MannKind's Latest Critic: The FDA Has Joined The Chorus Of Missing Data Concerns [View article]
    Fuerstein was blogging from the Adcom meeting.

    But he had to leave at 5pm to take his kid to fencing practice.
    Apr 1 05:09 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • MannKind's Latest Critic: The FDA Has Joined The Chorus Of Missing Data Concerns [View article]
    Adcom vote:

    13 - 1 yes for Type 1 Diabetes
    14 - 0 yes for Type 2.

    I am long to MNKD
    Apr 1 05:08 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • MannKind: Follow The Smart Money [View article]
    Mr Rho, thank you for such a straight-forward article. Including links to other articles, both optimists and pessimists is a plus. And for the record, I'm one of those who bought MNKD early and have been holding on, waiting to see what the FDA will do next.
    Mar 10 04:44 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Outlook 2013: Americans Are Going Broke [View article]
    Edaugh - Another idea to add to your list:

    Reform capital gains tax and implement a progress rate structure based on the relative benefit to the larger economy:

    Asset held over 2 years: 0% cap gains tax
    1 - 2 years: 5%
    6 months - 1 year: 10%
    1 - 6 months: 20%
    1 - 4 weeks: 40%
    1 - 5 days: 60%
    Less than 1 day: 90%

    The whole point of a capital market is to facilitate the flow of capital to grow businesses and infrastructure. The longer the capital is invested, the more the larger economy benefits. Any investment vehicle held for less than a few weeks is not benefiting the economy - its just skimming the profits. (Consider the existing bans against short-term trading of certain mutual funds). We've all seen how this type of speculative investing can wreck havoc on the markets (eg. flash crashes, price bubbles, etc). Why wouldn't we want to pass the cost of that havoc on to those chiefly responsible for the problems, while also rewarding the longer term investors?

    Also, restructuring the capital gains tax in this manner would serve as a dis-incentive for the creative mischief that gave us the junk bond crash in the 70's, the .com crash in the 90's and the sub-prime mortgage debacle in the 'Aughts'.
    Jan 4 08:56 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Outlook 2013: Americans Are Going Broke [View article]
    Windy - this is a good example of the hording I was referring to in my post. Thanks.
    Jan 4 08:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Outlook 2013: Americans Are Going Broke [View article]
    Paul - my comment is from a macro economic perspective, looking for systemic imbalances in our economy. In a free market economy the price of any transaction based on a balance of supply and demand, resulting in a mutually beneficial exchange of value. Imbalances take place when an external factor skews that dynamic.

    The whole point of the original article is the long-term erosion of middle class wages. If you accept the theory that in macro terms, the effectiveness of a workforce is measured in productivity; then the growing gap between increasing productivity and eroding wages indicates that the labor market is experiencing systemic imbalances affecting how labor is valued. This imbalance is what is leading to unprecedented levels of wealth to be concentrated (aka horded) in the so-called 1%. (There is plenty of credible data out there that confirms this, in addition to the data in this original article).

    A lot of discussion is focused on the effects government regulation has on this dynamic - both positive and negative. But there is not enough discussion on the effects of private manipulation of these markets. As they say - to find the guilty, follow the money.

    The American labor market is so disjointed that a case can be made that it is starting to behave as two separate markets. To illustrate this point - consider this example. A single individual fails spectacularly at his job, causing huge losses to his employer that result in job cuts that affect his colleagues. For 99% of the people in the workforce, that level of failure will get you a cardboard box for your personal belongings and a security escort out the door. But for a narrow segment at the top (aka the wealth horders) that same failure will get you a multi-million dollar severance package and you keep your stock bonuses and your seat on the board. I cannot understand how any rational person would think this is indicative of an effectively functioning market. In a free market economy, failure or success is rewarded consistently. What we saw on Wall Street after the 2008 collapse is more indicative of a plutocracy.

    For the record, let me reiterate: I do not believe that everyone should get an equal amount of wealth. Communism attempted to reach this extreme, and failed spectacularly. But human history is also full of examples when oligarchies and plutocracies pushed for the opposite extreme (unsustainable concentrations of wealth), which also failed - often disastrously and sometimes violently.

    The principle demonstrated by Laffer's curve is that extremes (in Laffer's case, either too much or too little taxation) produces undesirable results. In this same vein, too much or too little wage disparity also produces undesirable results. In our case, eroding wages in light of growing productive is crippling our consumer-driven economy. The disparity is root cause of both the public and private debt that is hobbling our economy.
    Jan 4 08:41 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Outlook 2013: Americans Are Going Broke [View article]
    Income disparity, especially as it relates to wages, is THE big systemic imbalance undermining our economy. The trends shown here just underscore the problem. Just as Laffer showed there is a point of diminishing returns on taxes, similar elasticity exists with income disparity. Some disparity is absolutely necessary to provide the motivation that defines a true meritocracy. Too much disparity undermines the consumer middle class, serving as a de-motivator as the economy shifts from a free market meritocracy to a plutocratic oligarchy.

    This exploding disparity fuels the double edged sword of exploding private and public debt that is crippling economies around the world. Runaway disparity becomes a siphoning of wealth, that is horded by an extremely narrow segment of the population. Increasingly larger portions of society cannot afford to maintain existing standards of living. Governments are forced to step in to bolster the flow of money through the economy - leading to unsustainable levels of debt. Consumers increase their reliance on credit to make up their diminishing purchasing power.

    There's no doubt that our economy is dangerously dysfunctional. We must move NOW to find a peaceful, manageable means to reverse the fundamental imbalances caused by this growing disparity. Otherwise, history will repeat itself and violent social upheaval will reset the bar for everybody.
    Dec 31 02:36 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Initial Jobless Claims: +78K to 439K vs. 376K consensus, 361K prior (revised). Continuing claims +171K to 3.33M. [View news story]
    What do I think? I think it would be interesting to see what you would do if your home and business was flooded, the streets clogged with debris and the power company was predicting weeks before you see any electricity. What would you do to make sure you kept your family fed and sheltered?
    Nov 15 02:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Initial Jobless Claims: +78K to 439K vs. 376K consensus, 361K prior (revised). Continuing claims +171K to 3.33M. [View news story]
    Do you people have any idea of the scope of destruction that took place in NJ and parts of NY? NJ's coastal infrastructure was wiped-out, taking with it the businesses and jobs that were located there. Trite partisan blovating merely reveals either a profound ignorance or callous disregard of what these people are experiencing.

    Anyone who thinks that much destruction isn't going to impact economic stats has no business commenting on this site. Seeking Alpha is supposed to be a grown-up's only site.
    Nov 15 11:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Possible Implications Of A Greek Exit From The Eurozone [View instapost]
    I had an opportunity to discuss the situation in Greece with a good friend who is visiting the US. She mentioned two issues that are impacting Greece's ability to meet their austerity goals.

    Influx of Refugees: apparently Greece has been receiving a large influx of refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Africa. Arriving by sea at any of Greece's countless islands and inlets, many of these refugees try to make their way to other European countries in search of a better life. However, those that get caught in England, Germany or other European countries are not sent back to their original countries, but instead are dumped back to Greece. This creates a huge drag on the government.

    Shouldn't these refugees and illegal immigrants either be sent back to their country of origin? Or if they truly qualify for refugee status, shouldn't they be sent to a country better equipped to handle the influx? Given the crushing debt facing the Greeks, this international policy seems cruel and inhuman to both the Greeks and the refugees.

    This second point will get me in trouble with my friend - but...
    Another drag on Greek's productivity is the large number of working age Greeks who are emigrating to countries with stronger economies. Wouldn't it be better for everyone if Greek emigration was restricted, forcing productive Greeks to stay in their country and focus on improving their nation's overall situation? This is a step that should be easily implemented by those countries that are currently admitting these emigre's.
    Sep 3 01:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Real Fiscal Cliff [View article]
    Leaving capital in private hands does not necessarily translate into more effective investment. Witness the growing pool of private capital stagnating on the sidelines while economic growth flounders. There are a lot of reasons why investors are sitting on their hands (or just speculating on very short term plays). There is also plenty of evidence that private capital will sometimes follow the herd like lemmings over the proverbial cliff. The most recent recession is the result of private capital and sovereign funds gorging themselves on grossly overvalued, mis-managed derivatives.

    Government spending should always be the investor-of-last-resort. Responsible capitalists following investing traditions focused on financial fundamentals, value-adding innovation and long-term growth should be the engine that drives our economy. But even a casual study of western economic history will show that the private sector will sometimes fall far short of their better traditions and values. When greed and stupidity overpower smarter minds in the private sector and fear pushes most investors to the sidelines, it's time to use these measures of last resort.
    Jul 11 09:28 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apr. Nonfarm Payrolls: +115K vs. consensus of +165K, prior 120K. Unemployment 8.1% vs 8.2% expected. Average workweek 34.5 in-line with expectations  [View news story]
    It would help the UE numbers if we reverse the public sector job losses. But that would run contrary wishes of the growth-through-austerity cult currently in vogue.

    We continue to promote capital stagnation in the coffers of the top end of the economic scale and continue to choke off cash flow to the middle class. Consumer demand suffers, and stagnation continues. When are we going to finally admit that trickle down economics is a failed theory?
    May 4 09:33 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Reuters reports that the EPA will issue a draft report saying fracking for natural gas has polluted water in Wyoming.  [View news story]
    Water has caused range wars through out this country's history, so this current dust up should not be a surprise to anyone.
    Dec 9 12:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment