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  • Wall Street Breakfast: All Eyes On Jobs [View article]
    I read somewhere that Cuban cigars are exceptional because of the high lithium content in the soil, which is unique to Cuba. This lithium finds its way into the tobacco leafs and into the smoke. Lithium is used as a downer for people suffering from severe mental troubles.
    Jul 2, 2015. 08:38 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Graccident - The Gray Swan Strikes [View article]
    Agree with you Russia has enough on its plate nowadays.
    Jun 30, 2015. 01:10 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • When? [View article]
    One of Greek's big difference with Argentina is the political factor. Furthermore, almost everybody in Europe spent at least one holiday in Greece and amongst them, almost everybody loved it (it's really a cool country, believe me). Whereas Argentina is pretty isolated. All in all, if Greece goes alone, it should quickly recover. What's killing it now is the uncertainty. As to the market here in the US, I get 3.5% dividend on ABBV, 5.1% on LVS not to mention many other, like BX paying me 8.5%. So far, so good.
    Jun 30, 2015. 11:59 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • And So It Begins - Greek Banks Get Shut Down For A Week And A 'Grexit' Is Now Probable [View article]
    Greece is considered the canary in the coal mine.
    -If Greece exits, we have proof that this currency is not as immutable as advertised. Nobody wants to keep a currency that may disappear on whim.
    -Global markets care because the EUR is now in doubt. It's the second most used currency in the world after the USD.
    -The global economy is affected because of see next question.
    -German and French are two different cases. But; a EUR without its Southern component becomes a hard, expensive currency. That will disturb exportations from Northern countries. Germany and France are the biggest contributors to this European equalization fund meant to protect Europe against a financial crisis. They'll have to pay.
    -Germany's central bank is the final repository for all money creation made by other European central banks under their Target system. German's central bank will have a huge loss.
    Finally, the billions borrowed by Greece may be lost. Even if they are own only by governments, this money may be gone, the loss must be recognized and lender countries' budgets must be redrawn accordingly. That's is extremely deflationary.
    It's not the size of the Greek's economy that matters, it's the nominal value of the debt in EUR that will vanish.
    Furthermore, it's currently admitted that private investors don't hold any Greek bonds anymore, only governments do. Hopefully that's true but with derivatives you don't really know. You could have a major bank coming up today or tomorrow with a "hoops I did it again". Then it could be game over.
    Jun 29, 2015. 09:22 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Don't Buy Diamonds [View article]
    And what if he comes with 10 shares of BRK-B instead?
    Jun 27, 2015. 11:23 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Don't Buy Diamonds [View article]
    When playing with these kind of matters, I wouldn't bet on the dumbness of my most precious half. I strongly advise you not to do the same....
    As to diamonds as an investment, effectively I don't think it's the best bet unless you've access to the real fancy ones auctioned at Christies and the likes.
    Jun 27, 2015. 11:20 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Santa Claus In Sweden [View article]
    All these small countries that remain independent of Europe's fiscal follies are in a huge conundrum. Their currencies are bid up like crazy; relative fiscal rectitude and scarcity are irresistible to investors looking for safety and stability. In the kingdom of the blinds, the one-eyed is not always king. They must take the train.
    Jun 26, 2015. 10:28 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Invest In 'Europe'? No. In European Companies? Yes! [View article]
    I always have to laugh at Europe's core argument for its feeble union; avoid war. Europe is US occupied territory. The only big country that doesn't have a US base on its soil is France. How can they start a war? Anyway, there are effectively great corporations there and excellent dividends to be had in the UK and even Switzerland (check Zurich Insurance, Swiss Re, Nestle, Roche and Novartis I'm long all these). Furthermore, big multi nationals are pretty immune against the shenanigans of their respective governments. As to Forex, I wouldn't consider it an issue if you're invested long term. Notwithstanding another collapse of the system, that would draw the world's money back into the USD, foreign currency exposure is a good diversifier and helps your portfolio with negative correlation. The risks on the GBP, CHF and EUR are not life critical on the long term.
    Jun 26, 2015. 10:20 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Ahold, Delhaize Confirm €26B Mega-Merger [View article]
    If the US loses its grip on the world's monetary system, it's game over for the way we currently live. Swiss make watches. Most of the components are now made in China. On the other end, China is one of the biggest client for Swiss watches. When the watchmaker buys the components he must pay in Yuan. Basically he must go to New York, give his CHF against USD and then change his USD for Yuans. The US gladly obliges. When he sells the finished watch to his Chinese client, he receives Yuan. He must go back to New York, change his Yuans for USD and then change his USD for CHF to pay the rent. Finally, they may decide to quote and trade directly in USD. That's basically how international trade functions nowadays. Each time foreigners transact, some USD are issued to grease the deal. We profit of them because when the US prints, somebody will take the bucks because he or she needs them. Even if the endeavor has no relation whatsoever with the USA. This constant demand for USD allows the government to sustain huge deficits, unlike another "dollar" country, the Zimbabwe, for instance. These deficits then pump up the domestic economy. And the circle is full. Now, if foreign countries start to transact directly, this advantage vanishes. That's why Obama is worried.
    Jun 24, 2015. 09:50 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Ahold, Delhaize Confirm €26B Mega-Merger [View article]
    GGGL you should work for the FED; only 3.6%! Average household income in 1995 = $ 50,000, average household income in 2015 = $ 51,000 (source; FRED). That gives us a 0.85% (ca) increase in income per year. But, in 1995, you didn't have to pay for high speed iNet. You didn't have to pay for a mobile phone and cable was much cheaper or even inexistant. Furthermore, you could avoid health insurance if you so wished. I'm not surprised people can't afford cars anymore and I wonder how they sell so many of them. I suppose people take the loan and send the keys back if the chicken comes back home to roost.
    Jun 24, 2015. 09:31 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Ahold, Delhaize Confirm €26B Mega-Merger [View article]
    At life threatening speeds, no car is safe. What kills you is not the metal folding and crushing you, it's the sudden deceleration that tears your organs appart. Deceleration is a factor of mass (Suvs) and speed. If you have less accidents, it's because the increase in traffic and the enforcement of speed limits makes the traffic tamer.
    Jun 24, 2015. 09:24 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Ahold, Delhaize Confirm €26B Mega-Merger [View article]
    I went to the Ford dealership the other to look at the new Ford Mustang. They had some of GTs on the lot with a sticker price of $ 48,000! They don't even bother to stock on the entry level version for the GT model.
    Jun 24, 2015. 09:00 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Ahold, Delhaize Confirm €26B Mega-Merger [View article]
    The advantage of being part of the elite. The travails of the people don't affect them.
    Jun 24, 2015. 08:57 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Eurozone Economy Weathers Greek Storm [View article]
    But if Uber can brake up at least one state imposed monopoly, I'm all in favor of it.
    Jun 23, 2015. 08:39 AM | 16 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Eurozone Economy Weathers Greek Storm [View article]
    Iron, I agree with you; ZIRP fever for a long time. As long as the official inflation numbers are not taking off they can print to keep it going. In Europe with an official unemployment rate of around 12%, they have a lot of time in store.
    Jun 23, 2015. 08:37 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment