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  • Bernanke‚Äôs Pixie Dust [View article]
    Richard, As I write this, the DJIA is down 170+ points on the weak job numbers.
    This is one of the few areas (jobs) where I don't rely on Gov. figures, and instead, I rely on my own common sense (such as it is) plus some help from others I trust more than the Gov. numbers.
    I believe that we are in a Depression for the lower income groups ,and many of the middle income groups, that rely on others for wages.
    With the unleashing of the remaining Stimulus money this Spring and Summer, I expect that some job relief will occur in time for the elections (how convenient!), and then a return to the same ' ol , same 'ol.
    Switching gears, how would you characterize the Corporate accounting standards in common use in America today, and on a scale of one to ten , how would you rate their accuracy in reflecting the condition of corporate health and financial performance?
    Feb 25, 2010. 10:14 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The President Likes Nuclear Energy: Can Nuclear ETFs Keep Up? [View article]
    The people have a right to know how many, and where, Nuclear power plants originally built for the purpose of commercial/residential electricity production, are now producing tritium and other Nuclear bomb making agents.
    Also, if these Nuclear power plant projects are such a great idea then they should support themselves WITHOUT taxpayer subsidy.
    The nuclear waste is now forced to be stored ON-SITE, which means the location where these sites are located will continue to get hotter and hotter with nuclear radiation and all of its threats.
    The intentional and accidental release of radiation from these sites are known to some degree, which means the actual amounts are much worse than what we are told.

    Building Nuclear power plants , like WAR, presents a golden opportunity for stealing vast amounts of money while lying about their long term threats and potentially ruinous fallout.
    This explains their huge popularity in some quarters.
    Feb 22, 2010. 10:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Faber: Don't Buy the Rally [View article]
    This looks like a basic muddle- thru year to me, with a couple of exceptions.
    One thing that we can be sure of is that the Stimulus money still allocated to be spent, but thus far held back, SHALL be spent, which is what the pols have been waiting to do at just the right time for the max political payback. That time will be this Spring and Summer - guaranteed. If you live in my district , it would be a double guarantee.
    Even with the stimulus , I expect at least one of the Spring or Summer (include September) months to be a doozy of a downer , with a later recovery. And that's why it will be so tricky.
    How much of this Stimulus trickles down to the presently unemployed is a tough call, I hope and expect it to help a little.
    It, at least , will give the presently employed a little more confidence, and they may increase their spending a little which will help short term.
    Longer term, we're still in the soup, so more hard times ahead.
    So the stock market should have at least one scary down turn, esp. if the stimulus is not as robust as I expect.

    Same as always, have your Buy selections ready, and don't be impatient, and one can still make some money in either a flatish or roller coaster year, whichever occurs, esp. if one carefully uses some options as an assist.

    As well as now, it's the next five years that I'm worried about, but that's a long, long story.
    Feb 22, 2010. 07:30 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 5 ETFs to Own During the 'Great Deflation' [View article]
    Ron Rowland made important distinctions between individual TIPS and TIP ETF's that should not be ignored and would have best have been included in the article. Caveat Emptor - ALWAYS!
    Feb 22, 2010. 11:37 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bespoke's Commodity Snapshot [View article]
    Have to admire that Platinum chart. Thanks.
    Feb 21, 2010. 11:09 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Income ETFs: Safer Than Stocks, Better Returns Than Bonds [View article]
    I consider a Preferred stock to be a bond dressed in a stock's clothing in an attempt to hide the debt from many corporate debt valuation metrics, i.e. They both pay a Fixed Dividend, and both are callable (usually).
    What other reasons would a Corp. have for issuing them, except for the accounting magic or maybe some stock option shenanigans?
    As I vaguely recall, institutions and other corporations have favored tax treatment over the poor slob individual investor also, so preferred's have to be paying very high rates to make it worth it for us little guys. That's why they are not more popular relative to their rates with us.
    Still, it is an option worth considering, same for the MLP's.
    Thanks for your good work.
    Feb 19, 2010. 10:29 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fed Takes a Tightening Baby Step [View article]
    If I read you correctly, you are saying interest rates will be up across the entire yield curve, i.e. all rise together but with short term rates up just a little more than long rates, is this correct?
    If so, a few other good minds are also predicting this ,and a crash in the carry trade.
    Ah, how sweet the ride until it does crash.
    I will be very surprised if this does not happen.
    Richard, how would you sum up our current financial status in terms of staying afloat and avoiding another major meltdown?
    Feb 19, 2010. 10:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • SPY at 98-119 Through Mid-March, Probably [View article]
    Delightfully intense treatment of this subject.
    With some unknown powerful force pump priming the overnight futures market, it becomes questionable whether any well informed strategy can be used successfully because we will never know when they may stop, start, resume or intensify their activities.
    The talking heads always bring up "uncertainty" as a major factor, but they never mention that one as a major player in the uncertainty equation, but it appears to be one of the biggest uncertainties of all to me.
    For that , and other reasons, I share your cautious approach right now.
    Thanks for another brilliant job, Richard.
    Feb 18, 2010. 03:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Equity Valuations, Then and Now [View article]
    Richard, do you have a handle on just how severe all those trillions of dollars of derivatives risk are on the banking system? I'm referring to the ones that have no known solid reference or source to back them up.
    I know that it is serious , but what are realistic estimates of absolute default and the ensuing ripple effects and repercussions to the banking system?
    What are the probabilities that we are actually past the tipping point, or not?
    Would appreciate any help you could give us on this. Thanks.
    Feb 17, 2010. 11:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Climate Change: Non-Science or Texas Black Swan? [View instapost]
    I tend to take mortal or life threatening possibilities very seriously , so in that area, I am perhaps more easily impressed than some others.
    In that light , I find your article's discussion extremely troubling.
    This concern is increased by the fact that many Americans are ironically, unconcerned, and even hostile about the strong possibilities that exist.
    Nine to sixty meter rise of ocean levels, and the release of methane, and its destructive power, should be enough to at least get the attention of anyone with a post Neanderthal intellect, but then , maybe that's the problem with a lot of people.
    Feb 17, 2010. 10:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Goldman and Greece Concealed Swaps [View article]
    At least someone (in America) has the honesty, courage, energy , resources, and backbone to expose this stinking rot and decay.
    Keep digging, chomping , and gnawing on this incredibly corrupt group and there is a chance that something culpable will get exposed and send the deserved's to their rightful place:
    a rock pile in a striped suit.

    An incredibly strong series of articles , John, please keep up this truth telling to the dismay of all the crooks and shady dealers in our society, and enlightenment for the rest of us.
    Consider taking Evan Bayh's seat in the Senate, we severely need you there.
    Feb 17, 2010. 05:26 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Mike Shinnick on Finding the Best Valuations [View article]
    Can't fault his logic on almost all items.
    Only exception (sorta) is Allstate with whom I have had enough problems with during my younger years to stay away from for the rest of my life. But that is a personal preference item and not a logic item.
    However, though tainted in my mind, it may still be a reasonable investment for others.
    All else looks very solid to me.
    Feb 17, 2010. 03:43 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • End of the Line for Millions [View instapost]
    When I was a very young man working at my first job after leaving the army, I was convinced that three things were going to happen in America and the world before the end of the 20th century:
    The first was uncontrolled immigration.
    The second was an increasingly large pool of the permanently unemployed and unemployable.
    The third was the rise of China.
    Also, I suspected that the US would take huge steps to exploit South America, and that it would be a source of great conflict between the two continents. On this point I was wrong, but I think I was fairly insightful about the first three.
    I also had the idealistic view that the permanent unemployment could be prevented by the adoption of a policy that would require a term of work for ,say, the first 25 years of one's work career , followed by a period of national service that benefited everyone with the accumulated wisdom and knowledge. This would continually open up new jobs for the young and improve our culture with knowledge and wisdom provided by the older "semi retired" but highly dedicated mentoring, teaching, and service group.
    I now know that this is not possible and only a Darwinian process shall prevail.
    Ah, the idealism of youth!
    Feb 17, 2010. 02:56 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Even on Tuesday, The Traditional Monday Morning 'Mark Up' Rarely Fails [View article]
    I think the author is and has been on the right track.
    If zero interest rates won't do the trick , then some well timed market manipulation will.
    I am told that none of this is against the law , even if the FED and it's proxy allies are doing it, but it is shady and unethical.
    Without FED audits, we will never know the truth, and even then, it is unlikely, because of the mastery of cover ups performed with the help of government insiders.
    Without honest government, it will only get worse until it finally all collapses of its own weight.
    What are the odds for having honest government?
    Feb 16, 2010. 04:03 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Natural Gas Vehicles Won't Decrease Oil Dependence, Part IV [View article]
    Using an informed estimate of a maximum 89 million barrels a day supply (Total and Petrobras), and a serious oil supply shock within five years projected by the EIA, we would be fools (?) not to consider every viable option , not as a total solution in any one method but the salutary aggregate effect of them all collectively.

    Reducing distillate oil consumption of heating oil and diesel could account for more than one million barrels of oil a day if more natural gas were used in their place.
    More HEV's will help also. Replacing a vehicle that gets 20 miles a gallon with one that gets 50 miles a gallon will also help reduce oil consumption, and it could be significant with the proper incentives, but much less so without incentives.

    We should have a goal of a reduced 2 million barrels of oil a day with HEV adoption, and nat gas for heavy (OTR) and service vehicles (collectively) at least. This would also help the availability of goods and supplies during oil shocks and embargoes.
    As you may recall, oil embargoes practically shuts down the over the road (OTR) activity of those 18 wheelers.

    A solar panel provided with every HEV as part of the purchase cost, offset with a tax credit would be an incentive example, among many other possibilities.
    Eliminating tariffs on sugar based ethanol may help also , but I don't know all the pro's and con's of this.
    The opportunities go on and on, none a magic silver bullet, but many that reduce our oil demand and consumption at the margin, which is the pressing goal at hand.
    If we explore all the ideas and do all that is necessary to keep future oil demand below 89 million barrels of oil a day, and preferably much less, then we can avoid a crisis and catastrophe, or at least take some of the sting and suffering out of them.
    We need to be realistic, yes, but we must also exhaust every idea that can alleviate our dilemma.
    Feb 14, 2010. 12:09 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment