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Tricky

Tricky
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  • Lockheed Martin's (LMT) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, already the Pentagon's costliest weapon acquisition, may see its entry into service delayed by as much as three years and additional cost overruns of up to $5B, Reuters reports. Total cost for the jet is already 64% above initial estimates, topping $382B.  [View news story]
    No problem, just put it on my tab
    Nov 2 09:54 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nevada and Florida are near the top of the list of best business-tax climates in the country. They're also among the tops in unemployment; what are they doing wrong?  [View news story]
    We have a winner. Really not that hard if you think about it and apply a little common sense.
    Oct 28 01:41 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Greek 10-year bonds tumble for a third straight day, with the yield jumping 58 basis points to 10.34%. Last year’s budget deficit will be revised above 15% of GDP by the EU, Greece's finance minister says. Prime Minister Papandreou is being forced to pare back some of his austerity program as his political support deteriorates.  [View news story]
    The two previous posters nailed it -- the only surprise is how fast the restructuring is going to occur.
    Oct 27 10:41 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Housing Demand Won't Stay Down Forever [View article]
    That's nice. But what if you can't actually afford a home? What if the lender won't lend to you and you don't have the cash?

    I'm not making any specific predictions about housing prices, just pointing out some big missing pieces in the argument of "there will be more people who want houses, so therefore prices will automatically go up"

    Living with your parents (or renting) may not be "the first choice" (to use the authors words), but what if you don't have any other choice?
    Oct 26 09:20 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • As a blackout drags on and talks show no sign of movement, the likelihood grows that the dispute will prevent 3 million Cablevision (CVC +0.5%) subscribers from seeing Fox’s (NWS +0.1%) scheduled broadcast of the World Series. The FCC has given the two sides until the close of business today to provide evidence of “good faith negotiations."  [View news story]
    Beat me to it! I live in TX so was going to poke the northeast types how the World Series blackout doesn't matter since the Rangers knocked the Yanks out of it, hehehe!
    Oct 25 02:53 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Fed may purchase up to $2T of assets to stimulate the economy, says Goldman Sachs economist Jan Hatzius, and could announce QE2 on Nov. 3. Hatzius expects "an announcement of $500B or perhaps slightly more over a period of about six months. The key question, however, is not the size of the first step, but how far Fed officials will ultimately need to move to achieve their dual mandate of low inflation and maximum sustainable employment."  [View news story]
    "The key question, however, is not the size of the first step, but how far Fed officials will ultimately need to move to achieve their dual mandate of low inflation and maximum sustainable employment."

    Obviously, they don't see any mandate for a sustainable debt position.
    Oct 25 11:53 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Britain's plan to cut 500,000 government workers - equivalent to 3M layoffs in the U.S. - comes at a time when the private sector is unable to pick up the slack, Paul Krugman laments. British will suffer from the government that took office at "the height of the austerity fad," he says, but the U.K.'s cost of borrowing has dipped to its lowest level in two decades.  [View news story]
    UK will bite the bullet and feel considerable pain. France will cave into the protesters, not do any meaningful reform, and then get bailed out by German and US taxpayers (via the EU and IMF, respectively).
    Oct 22 11:04 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are We Heading Into a Hyperinflationary Storm? [View article]
    What I think will happen -- high inflation, but not hyperinflation. As many good articles have pointed out, hyperinflation usually requires some very serious political/societal breakdown, which only a small number of squeeky alarmists really see on the horizon.

    I think the most likely scenario is a deliberately engineered high inflation/debasement, as the US did right after WW2 to reduce its high debt burden -- 40% inflation over 3 years. That's "high", but not "hyper".
    Oct 20 01:11 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • China shows a willingness to exploit its monopoly position in the production of rare earth elements, and combined with its behavior on other fronts - exchange-rate policy, state subsidies that help firms gain key contracts, pressure on foreign companies to move production - Paul Krugman says it's "a rogue economic superpower, unwilling to play by the rules," and the rest of us better do something about it.  [View news story]
    Agree. I certainly am not in tune with Krugman's prescriptions for our economy, but he's not wrong that China will play rough and for keeps, and that we'd better assume that's the case as we develop strategies on many fronts.
    Oct 18 10:24 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nicolas Sarkozy's battle over pension reform, centered on increasing the retirement age to 62 from 60, is acquiring huge symbolic importance far beyond the economic benefits of the proposals. The reform is crucial for France's fiscal credibility, and a U-turn now could prove deeply damaging both for France and the rest of the euro zone.  [View news story]
    Indeed. Just for round numbers, why does anyone think it's reasonable to expect to spend about a third of your adult life not working (assuming you haven't made enough money to fund such a thing)?
    Oct 15 05:25 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The EPA's going to permit gasoline with up to 15% ethanol for use in newer vehicles - amid intense lobbying by the fuel's producers, as well as by corn producers, oil companies, environmentalists and automakers. Ethanol producers up today: GPRE +5.1%, PEIX +7%, BIOF +3.9%, AVRW +1.9%.  [View news story]
    Can your short stay liquid longer than the government can stay irrational?

    :-)
    Oct 13 01:53 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The EPA's going to permit gasoline with up to 15% ethanol for use in newer vehicles - amid intense lobbying by the fuel's producers, as well as by corn producers, oil companies, environmentalists and automakers. Ethanol producers up today: GPRE +5.1%, PEIX +7%, BIOF +3.9%, AVRW +1.9%.  [View news story]
    And I thought I was too late to go long on corn prices
    Oct 13 01:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Facing complaints that it has reduced coffee-making to "a mechanized process with all the romance of an assembly line," Starbucks (SBUX) is ordering baristas to slow down and make fewer drinks at a time. Baristas warn the slower methods mean longer lines, giving rivals a chance to lure away unhappy customers.  [View news story]
    Indeed. It's important to use some common sense when reviewing customer feedback.
    Oct 13 01:13 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Facing complaints that it has reduced coffee-making to "a mechanized process with all the romance of an assembly line," Starbucks (SBUX) is ordering baristas to slow down and make fewer drinks at a time. Baristas warn the slower methods mean longer lines, giving rivals a chance to lure away unhappy customers.  [View news story]
    I roll my own too. Very easy. Boil water, throw some beans in a small grinder, put in a french press, stir, press, pour into cup, add milk sugar, voila -- fresh, tasty, very fast, very cheap.
    Oct 13 01:11 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Early reviews on Windows (MSFT +0.2%) Phone 7 are generally upbeat. William Blair: WP 7 has “a fair chance of gaining share in the smartphone space,” and it's a positive for Qualcomm (QCOM -1.2%). J. Gold Associates: “It’s far sleeker, more user friendly, and shows almost no sign of being a Windows derivative like the previous versions did.”  [View news story]
    MSFT was also late to the game with Internet Explorer and XBox. I wouldn't count them out just yet. Will they win? Who knows. But they've got some cards to play, big question is whether they play them right. Windows and Office (including Exchange/Outlook) still utterly dominate the desktop -- they have a chance to make that matter to enterprises, IF (big if) they can do some clever things that outshine Blackberry. I think W7 is more dangerous to RIMM than to GOOG or AAPL, if IF they execute properly.
    Oct 11 02:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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