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Tricky

Tricky
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  • After three "jobless recoveries" in the last twenty years, NYT's Hedrick Smith suggests it's time to take a lesson from Henry Ford. History has proven Ford's virtuous circle to be effective, and if business managers "give the middle class a better share of the nation’s economic gains... the economy will grow faster." [View news story]
    LOL, if there's one thing that describes Romney, it's caring about the common man?
    Sep 3 01:01 PM | 26 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Obama administration is considering a plan to tax drivers on the amount of miles they drive. The tax could be enforced by installing equipment in vehicles to track usage, and payments could be made at service stations.  [View news story]
    The current issue of The Economist has an interesting article on the decaying state of infrastructure in the US and the various methods of potentially funding improvements (including private). Anyone interested in this topic might want to check it out.

    But addressing THIS article linked by SA -- if (please note I said IF) you are in favor of funding infrastructure through usage-based taxes, why set up a whole new regime to track miles driven? Why not just increase the existing taxes on gas/diesel? It's a very reasonable proxy for miles driven, and (unlike miles driven) it rewards fuel efficient vehicles.
    May 5 05:44 PM | 26 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Steve Jobs (AAPL) takes medical leave of absence, leaving COO Tim Cook in charge again. Jobs: "Unfortunately, the curiosity over my personal health continues to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but everyone else at Apple as well. In addition, during the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought." AAPL -8% in Frankfurt. (PR)  [View news story]
    Someone voted thumbs down to an innocuous, well wishing post?
    Jan 17 11:27 AM | 21 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • George Soros' remarkable speech on the "political bubble" of the EU: "The (current) political dynamic makes the disintegration of the EU just as self-reinforcing as its creation has been ... (however) the likelihood is that the euro will survive because a breakup would be devastating not only for the periphery, but also for Germany." He gives the Germans 90 days to come around. Worth the full read.  [View news story]
    Regardless of what one things of Soros' politics, this speech is definitely worth a read, for many reasons. I respectfully advise against a knee-jerk "I don't care what that socialist has to say" approach, as the first half of the speech is non-political and good food for thought for any investor.

    That said, the speech (like the Euro itself) has some crucial fundamental flaws. It is based upon the premise that "the Euro" must be saved, at any cost. While I agree that addressing the Euro crisis requires much bolder thinking and action than has been displayed to date, the speech fails to It does not contemplate some fundamental re-thinks on: 1) is a common currency even a wise thing to put in place when the political union isn't there; 2) if a common currency is to stay in place, do the conditions of membership need to be changed & enforced (which probably implies one or more countries being kicked out in short order), 3) how all the massive debt is going to be managed, particularly if the pro growth prescriptions lead to continued (and probably larger) deficits for the foreseeable future, especially in light of 4) practically no credible sign that ANY country is going to fundamentally address (in magnitudes that actually matter) their spending and lack of competitiveness in ANY time frame (short, medium, or long term).

    And lastly, who the heck would call an event a "Festival of Economics"? :-)
    Jun 3 09:44 AM | 20 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Did a Clever SEC Bait Goldman Sachs Into Compounding Its Legal Problems? [View article]
    And you have a TON of European politicians eager to deflect attention from the real huge causes of their financial problems (namely, profligacy) towards ready villains. And foreign villains are the best kind. GS will face a tsunami of lawsuits. Please note -- I am NOT defending Goldman, their pain is extremely well deserved.
    Apr 19 12:32 PM | 20 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Foreclosure Moratoriums: It's Time to Get Real [View article]
    > I don't fully understand the reasoning behind the objections here.
    > Who is going to buy the house in foreclosure?

    Someone who can afford it.

    What of the family
    > that lives there?
    They should find something they can afford, not have ME subsidize their bad decisions when I deliberately turned down offers of bigger house/mortgate in order to force myself into something I can afford.

    > These families had to live somewhere and most picked the option that best suited their financial and familial needs. It was hard to foresee
    the mess that came.

    No, they didn't HAVE to have that house, they PREFERRED that house to the other more affordable alternatives

    > Does a mistake or a miscalculation or a decision made of necessity remove their right to a little help now to survive the storm so that we don't have to deal with the fallout later when the market turns around?

    See above. People should live with their bad decisions, not force me to subsidize them and essentially penalize me for being responsible. I am LITERALLY going to be subsidizing profligate neighbors -- I will live in a lesser house AND help them pay for a better house... because I made good decisions and they made bad ones. That is NOT FAIR.

    Feb 15 01:50 PM | 20 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's Non-GAAP Fairy Tale [View article]
    Let the games begin!
    Aug 9 11:22 AM | 19 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • President Obama's proposal to extend the middle-class tax cuts before reforming the tax code and entitlements is a "sucker's game," declares Wilbur Ross. There's no trade-off there, it's just the president saying give me what I want, and I'll agree to talk about the rest later. What's being obscured by Washington is that the fiscal cliff issue isn't about taxes and revenue, but that our country is spending way too much. “You can't solve the bulk of the problem with revenues," Ross says. "It’s not going to happen.” [View news story]
    No, but see, we'll cut spending later. Promise.
    Nov 15 08:05 PM | 19 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buyer Beware: 30 Biggest Bankruptcy Risks [View article]
    I am incredulous that someone would question whether authors should post negative news. Part of being an investor or trader is knowing what not to get into, what to get out of, what to short. What are you recommending as the alternative -- to hide news that could bite the investor later?

    Unbelievable. I've seen some stupid comments on SA before, but those really have to be the worst.

    If there is valid criticism about the motives or methology of an article, by all means, that's fair game to call them out. But to say "bad news should not be stated" is... unreal.
    Apr 21 11:36 AM | 19 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Obamacare signs up 8M [View news story]
    Yes, as a supplier of patients
    Apr 18 07:41 AM | 18 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Keystone pipeline decision delayed again, likely until after November elections [View news story]
    Is it your belief that, should the Keystone pipeline not be completed, the tar sands won't be developed?

    Not having the pipeline *does* marginally hurt the economics of those plays. But the far bigger factor is the market price at which it can sell. Once that is high enough -- something the odds generally favor, going forward -- that oil is going to make its way to the market, one way or another.

    I would prefer that: 1) it move by pipeline rather than rail or truck, and 2) it flow into the US, rather than out to the Canadian west coast to Asian markets.
    Apr 19 09:30 AM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Exxon CEO joins lawsuit against tower that would provide water for fracking [View news story]
    Hypocrisy so thick, it's finger licking good.
    Feb 21 06:32 PM | 14 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ronald Reagan on the debt ceiling: "Unfortunately, Congress consistently brings the Government to the edge of default before facing its responsibility. This brinkmanship threatens the holders of government bonds and those who rely on Social Security and veterans benefits. Interest rates would skyrocket, instability would occur in financial markets, and the federal deficit would soar."  [View news story]
    Using Ronald Reagan's words against Republicans is dirty. Almost as dirty as noting Senator Obama's votes against raising the debt ceiling.

    Ah, hypocrisy -- it flourisheth so broadly.
    Jul 21 06:07 PM | 14 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can the Boomers Retire? [View article]
    How about revisit the whole concept of why retirement at age 65 has come to be viewed as some kind of civil right?

    I can kind of see a societal support for helping "the fragile elderly in their final years" (which was the case for Social Security when it started and expected lifespan was a LOT shorter than it is today).

    But now... why should there be an expectation that you should spend (what?) 20% to 25% of your adult life not working?
    Dec 31 10:25 AM | 14 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Freaked-Out Friday: Has CNBC Gone Too Far? [View article]
    I very rarely watch CNBC. I had gotten the impression (from the usual SA snarks) that CNBC was a pump monkey. Any clarification would be appreciated -- I don't rely on them for any decisions, just curious what "their deal" is. Thanks in advance.
    May 21 11:05 AM | 14 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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