Seeking Alpha

MichaelZZ

MichaelZZ
Send Message
View as an RSS Feed
View MichaelZZ's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • Best Buy is quite the value stock: JP Morgan [View news story]
    Seriously?
    Dec 30 09:20 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Twitter cut to Sell at Macquarie; off 2.8% premarket [View news story]
    I have sold 85 calls and 50 puts.

    mz
    Dec 27 01:14 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Twitter cut to Sell at Macquarie; off 2.8% premarket [View news story]
    What??????????

    Do they mean that "trees don't grow to the sky"?????

    Say it ain't so!!!!

    mz
    Dec 27 09:03 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is The U.S. Bankrupt? [View article]
    Giogiolb,

    Do you comprehend the right "things" to do?

    mz
    Dec 27 08:57 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is The U.S. Bankrupt? [View article]
    Giorgioib, do you understand the concept of a "veto"?

    mz
    Dec 27 08:53 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is The U.S. Bankrupt? [View article]


    SOCIAL SECURITY What’s it all about?



    PREFACE: Before one is able to solve a problem, one must recognize, understand, and analyze the problem until one has the requisite information and facts to make the best conclusion to mitigate or resolve the problem.



    PROBLEM: Regarding Social Security (SS), it appears that, given the current structure of the program, funds necessary to support the program will be insufficient within a given number of years.



    WHAT CAUSED THE PROBLEM? The SS program was never actuarially sound due to its original structure (1% of first $3,000 wages) as a Ponzi scheme (FDR may have thought that over time, adjustments would be made to fix the program). Over the years, changes have been made, but only to enable a delay in the inevitable. The problem has been exacerbated by such phenomena as being entitled to receive SS after only being in the workforce for 40 quarters, not all workers paying into the program, et cetera.



    SHOULD THIS PROBLEM BE RESOLVED BY ENDING IT? The question is whether or not this program is appropriate. Does it seem rational that the workers who have participated in the workforce for 40-45 years should be entitled to retirement benefits?

    Congress, over many years, has issued its many stamps of approval of stimulating retirement funding, e.g., defined benefit and contribution programs, Individual Retirement Act, 401k program, et cetera.

    Obviously, Congress is not perfect (as evidenced by its shortsightedness regarding its “retirement” legislation and the unintended consequences) and may have been wrong in issuing these “stamps of approval”, but the probability is about 99.9% that our legislators were correct, thus a logical conclusion should be that the SS program should not be eliminated.



    SHOULD THE SS PROGRAM BE MODIFIED? Although less so now than 65 years ago, the SS program remains a quasi-Ponzi-like situation, thus it must be modified.



    HOW SHOULD THE SS PROGRAM BE MODIFIED?

    The program includes revenue and obligations.

    Presently, the revenue is generated by charging workers 6.2% of his or her wages, up to a maximum of $106,800 per year plus a matched amount by the employer. http://1.usa.gov/JaUu9H

    Had the maximum limits, per the hyperlink, been $106,800 since inception, there would be hundreds of billions of additional funds within the SS trust fund. Further, if there had been no maximum, the fund would have benefited by additional hundreds of billions. Lastly, had all income, including passive income, been subjected to this “tax on income”, there would be even more funds.

    There must be a substantial reason why only earned income has been subjected to this “tax upon income” and why there has been and remains a limit upon the amount subject to this “tax upon income”.

    Another “interesting” factor is that not all wage earners are subject to this “income tax”.

    If the above had been done, every retiree would have an account that was fully funded to the extent his or her choices could be: rollover into a self-directed IRA, an annuity, etc.. This "asset" would not disappear upon death, i.e., it would be included in one's estate.



    The bulk of the obligations are paid to retirees who have reached the applicable ages.

    In December 2009, 64% were retired workers, while 15% were disabled workers, 8% were children, 8% were widows, widowers, and parents, and 5% were spouses.

    There could be an excellent argument that only payments to retired workers should be paid from the fund, while these other payments should come from the general fund.



    NOTE: If it were appropriate for a company to fund retirement obligations for its employees, why would a nation not fund the retirement of its workers?

    The obligations would be no less valid than those for defense, education, et cetera.

    As a competitive benefit, if the funds were an obligation of the federal government, the cost of producing goods and services would be reduced, which would enable companies to be more competitive regarding Japan, Inc., China, Inc., Brazil, Inc., et cetera. This would, also, be valid regarding the delivery of health care, i.e., any costs, which can be shifted from above the line to below the line would enable companies to be more competitive.



    CONCLUSION: By far, the best modification would be for a change from charging workers and employers to single-payer government funding.

    Until the change can be effected, legislation should be passed, which would assess this taxation on all income, earned and unearned, without limitation.



    The answer to the above question regarding the reason why only earned income has been subjected to this “income tax” and why there has been and remains a limit upon the amount subject to this “income tax” should be apparent and intuitive, i.e., the upper income earners would pay more. This, in essence, is why politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, and “talking heads” have been “tenderizing” the People.



    I ask everyone to contact his or her Representative and both Senators to inquire as to how much of our massive current federal deficit of approximately $1.6 trillion is attributable to Social Security. The answers will astound most.

    HINT: The answer is ZERO!



    mz

    April 12, 2011

    Modified June 15, 2011
















    mikiesmoky@aol.com

    Dec 24 10:15 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is The U.S. Bankrupt? [View article]
    The U.S. requires a Chap. 11.

    There are 6-7 actions to take that would cause 500-700M hires a month for the next 5-8 months.

    mz
    Dec 22 08:07 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The End Of Wall Street As We Know It? [View article]
    We don't need or require an "end" to Wall Street.
    We need an unwinding of the morphed Wall Street caused by greed.
    Greed is NOT good.
    Incentives ARE good.
    Greed = incentives on steroids

    Circa 1969, the average daily volume on the NYSE was fewer than 5 million shares.
    Today, that volume is traded in less than the first 5 seconds.
    Circa 1970, options were introduced on approximately 30 stocks. Now there are thousands of options.

    One of the major effects has been to shift energies from teaching, engineering, medical, et cetera to Wall Street.
    Could that be why we must import engineers, scientists, doctors, etc.?
    Not too stellar.

    We have slowly morphed into a quagmire and it can only drag us under.

    Everything is tied into the "market", most notably all defined benefit plans and insurance.

    Quagmire is an understatement.

    mz
    Aug 10 02:15 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bank of America (BAC) settles for about $10.3B with Fannie Mae over repurchase claims on $1.4T of mortgages. The bank will pay Fannie $3.6B in cash and repurchase for $6.75B certain mortgages. BofA expects to take a $2.7B charge in Q4. Shares +2.4% premarket. (PR[View news story]
    Our problems have been created by Congress.

    mz
    Jan 7 01:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bank of America (BAC) settles for about $10.3B with Fannie Mae over repurchase claims on $1.4T of mortgages. The bank will pay Fannie $3.6B in cash and repurchase for $6.75B certain mortgages. BofA expects to take a $2.7B charge in Q4. Shares +2.4% premarket. (PR[View news story]
    My guess is that the Fed is not buying toxic assets and if they were, they would not be purchased at face value.

    mz
    Jan 7 10:39 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Eric Sprott: I Think We Are In For A Shortage Of Physical Gold [View article]
    REGARDING: If you have any gold, pm me and I'll gladly take it off your hands, I'll even pay for postage

    RESPONSE: Buy a hard hat for you and, sadly, your family (you are risking your family's wealth).

    mz
    Jan 6 12:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Eric Sprott: I Think We Are In For A Shortage Of Physical Gold [View article]
    REGARDING: Its a long time since I had the statistics, but a lot of gold comes with copper, so as long as people demand copper, they will get gold. I would also say that I would rather produce the stuff in that fashion. Gold mining is a really difficult business.

    RESPONSE: If no gold were mined for the next 50 years, there would be sufficient supply on this planet to accommodate all USES, except, of course, for HOARDING.

    mz
    Jan 6 12:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Eric Sprott: I Think We Are In For A Shortage Of Physical Gold [View article]
    REGARDING: Don't central banks agree not to sell gold? I wonder if this couldn't be classified as the ultimate manipulation of an asset. What will happen when these same banks agree to sell gold?

    RESPONSE: It might have some resistance around $700-$900, but the ultimate "bottom" could be under the 2001 level, i.e., < $300.

    mz
    Jan 6 12:02 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Eric Sprott: I Think We Are In For A Shortage Of Physical Gold [View article]
    Jim,
    What is the relevance to today's situation?

    mz

    mz
    Jan 1 06:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Eric Sprott: I Think We Are In For A Shortage Of Physical Gold [View article]
    Stu Silver:

    REGARDING: Yes, originally paper money was a claim check on something of real value like gold and silver held in the banks vaults, the amount of value of paper could not exceed the value of the metal in the vaults.
    RESPONSE: And is that what you would like to see continued???
    NOTES: What was and what is may not be congruent. What was doesn't make it correct/right.

    REGARDING: Then our bankers got greedy realising that most never came to collect their metal, so the bankers then began issuing more claim checks than there was metal to back them. This has progressed to today where we have paper "money" printed at will which is backed by nothing of value except a government promise to pay back debt. No metal in the vaults at all, its either owned by someone else or has multiple claims on the same metal due to our bankers selling or leasing it to market over and over in order to keep the price down, or just plain ponzi scheme as with gld and slv, and also unbacked naked shorts. Im buying silver while the music is still playing because when it stops you wont be able to buy it at anything near todays rigged price.
    RESPONSE: You are either confused or are attempting to mislead, but the latter doesn't make sense, because you don't appear to have the requisite knowledge.

    Precious metals are not intended to "back" our currency.
    Currency is "used" to facilitate the exchange of goods and services.
    Currency is the conversion of wealth into a practical format.
    Someday almost all transactions will be via the Internet,, thus what happens to your "paper money".
    "Paper" money" is a complete misnomer.

    mz
    Jan 1 04:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
COMMENTS STATS
228 Comments
132 Likes