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  • Yves Smith wonders if the U.S. mortgage market is reaching a tipping point as solvent borrowers grow increasingly comfortable with strategic walkaways. While the government has "a vested interest" in saying that few homeowners abandon their mortgages by choice, "this sort of cold-blooded detachment is the logical result of encouraging borrowers to treat their house as an investment... rather than a home."  [View news story]
    Agree 100%. Everyone knows that these folks on Wall Street/Financial institutions are robbing America blind. It will be every man for himself when things totally collapse and you better start gathering as much as you can now.

    AIG executives trying to collect bonus payments should simply be thrown in jail and all their assets taken by the US government. The idea that they deserve retention bonusses is beyond stupid. They are basically cattle rustlers and deserve the same fate we used to give rustlers 200 years ago. Hang them High!!!!
    Feb 3 06:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • If politicians keep attacking, Blackstone's (BX) Steven Schwarzman says, bankers are going to cut lending and risk the recovery. “Financial institutions will feel under siege and they will retreat ... Their entire world is being shaken and they’re being attacked personally. We don’t need those financial institutions insecure.”  [View news story]
    Their entire world is being shaken.....

    Well welcome to the real world....main street's world has been more than shaken and in many areas its literally laying in rubble. The difference is that these crooks are walking off with million dollar paychecks courtesy of the US taxpayers......while Main Street will watch their children struggle with increased tax rates, less growth, and fewer opportunities. While Wall Street will go to their therapists and whine about the criticism of their $2 million pay.

    These clowns are lucky we aren't living 150 years ago....cattle rustlers simply got strung up.
    Jan 28 02:06 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Johnson & Johnson Beats the Street [View article]
    You left out all the warning letters, botched recall, and continued poor executive leadership.....while the like of Novartis continue to perform well J&J has turned into a laggard......kind of like GE.

    Dead money.
    Jan 26 01:07 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Paul Krugman calls Obama's proposed spending freeze "appalling on every level." But the plan applies to only 17% of the total federal budget, and the president had requested a 7.3% increase last year in the areas he now wants to freeze.  [View news story]
    Its time to call a spade a spade. Either Obama stands up and leads or he needs to get out of the way.

    Spending freeze would be a good start towards fiscal responsibility - but a spending freeze is just that.....not what has been proposed - we'll raise spending next year by a bunch but then not the year after. How about a spending freeze covering everything for 2010. That means lower Social Security payments, lower spending on Medicair and less spending on the military. Combine that with a tax increase (on everyone) and you'd actually start to tackle the deficit problem.
    Jan 26 12:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stuyvesant Town Owners Walk Away - Top of Market Deal Collapses [View article]
    Any adult who signs a mortgage contract should be able to run the numbers and determine if they can afford the terms. Caveat emptor.

    Thats true also of the banker.........individ... with non recourse loans are paying for them to be non recourse and if their home if 50% of its former value they should walk away as they are throwing away their money.

    All this push for people to pay no matter what is just an extension of the bail out.......stealing any return from those responsible and having savings and giving to rich bankers that made stupid loans. Its time for Main Street to look out for themselves and who cares if it hurts big banks.
    Jan 26 12:53 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why the Wal-Mart Version of Retail Is Unsustainable [View article]
    Well I don't know that its a clear cut as your making it out to be.....I look for quality and expect to pay for it in some others I look for cheap prices. When I buy a suit, I want to pay for one that will last. When I buy a t-shirt price is a large factor as it will wear out in the gym whether its cheap or expensive.

    Same thing as it relates to other items - car, I want quality and safety and will pay for it.......bicycle, I want something good but price matters a lot as I'm just a casual rider.

    And the other thing that is true is that technology becomes cheaper over time in if your patient you can buy good technology at a cheaper price and it will usually be better quality if you wait for second generation type products.

    One of the reasons for imported products is price.....but lets not kid ourselves many domestic companies have lost market share due to poor quality. Remember GM in the 70's/80's? They basically gave the market to the Japanese due to producing junk - Kcars anyone??? So its not a simple as you make out.
    Jan 26 12:49 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Obama's Plan to Reform the Banking Business: Not Good [View article]
    Lehman Brothers, whose demise in September of 2008 kicked the crisis into high gear, didn’t fail because it had gotten too big or was overly involved in risky proprietary bets

    Uh, they bet the farm on a single asset class - mortgages....that were extremely risky and proprietary. And as for all the banks being treated unfairly....they are all benefiting from a zero cost of capital so they can cry to someone else as far as I'm concerned.

    Its fine to be opposed to what has been proposed, but considering that it replicates what existed for 60 years (and our financial firms did just fine during that time) its hardly the stuff of destruction. What is the stuff of destruction is a system where people are given huge amounts of money for shuffling papers and placing bets on the direction of assets.......there is no spill over effect to this activity - unlike someone that starts a business that actually makes things - and the only people benefitting are those making the bets.

    Wall Street pay is so far out of touch of reality that its not even funny. There aren't any real profits this year - its almost all the result of a Fed policy to inflate bank earnings through low rates - allowing them to burn off much of the construction related bubble that is on their books.......yet Wall Street is giving out tens of billions....its a perverse form of war profiteering and its helping to bankrupt our country.....stealing from Main Street and giving to Wall Street......we need Robin Hood to show up and help turn this around!!!
    Jan 26 12:39 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Could the Volcker Rule Really Cause a Crash? [View article]
    The Volker rule won't cause anything. Glass-Steagal existed for more than 50 years and the financial industry did just fine.

    We need further steps - more shareholder rights in terms of compensation, getting the government out of the mortgage business, cut government spending, etc....there is no silver bullet that will solve all our problems......only a lot of hard work and sacrifice can save us.
    Jan 26 12:30 PM | 20 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Corporate Conscience [View article]
    There is no Corporate Conscience. Our corporations are nothing more than places where a bunch of ass kissers scheme how to give themselves the biggest bonusses possible. Screw the shareholders, screw the employees, screw the communities, screw the taxpayers.

    Think about how many jobs have been shipped out of the USA so some VP can claim his/her gross margin improved by 1.7%. Think the shareholders saw that 1.7%? Workers? Nope, that same amount just handed over to a bunch of executives who sit around telling themselves they are the true leaders and those 1000 people we just fired have to learn how to live in a "change culture" or some other corporate BS.

    We need to change the tax code so that people that simply ass kiss their way to the top of corporations are heavily taxed. Allow true businessmen/women who start companies and employ people to pay lower rates and attract more of our talented folks into starting businesses and out of corporations. Building the business from scratch is much more difficult than steering the ship once its half way on its journey. Reward it likewise. All corporate employees should pay 75% tax on ANY income over $500,000. Then we might find some of those billions actually going to shareholders, or to investments, or to lower level employees. Its time for a change.
    Jan 25 01:46 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • What Will It Take for an Underwater Homeowner to Walk Away? [View article]
    non recourse loans generally are more expensive.....and thus the lender has supposedly done some due diligence on the value of the property and assumes risk with the loan.

    Why should property owners not default if its in their financial interest (note I don't think being 10-20% underwater is really important, but 40 or 50% is important). They have paid for the ability to turn the asset over to the lender. Contracts by banks and big companies are enforced to the letter when they apply it to the little guy......why now should the little guy abandon their contractual rights due to some "morality" play.

    People have watched their country give billions of dollars to the "elites" on Wall Street at the expense of their children. How much more sacrifice should they make for Wall Street millionaires and bureaucrats in DC with lifetime jobs?

    People who lied for loans should be prosecuted. Mortgage lenders that preyed on the elderly should be prosecuted. But those homeowners that paid for non-recourse loans should make the best financial decision they can for themselves and their families. What did the credit card companies all do prior to the implementation of the new rules......oh, yeah my letters all indicated the rates were being jacked up to the limit despite my perfect payment soon as corporations start acting morally towards myself I'll think of recipricating.......and that will be a cold day in hell when that happens.
    Jan 25 01:30 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Realty Income: Dividend Stock Analysis [View article]
    Its a pretty decent investment from a yield perspective. Have to be a little cautious about the FFO payout percentage hitting 90% this past year, but if you can get in when the yield is over 7% that would offer some protection - even if they were to cut it probably wouldn't be more than 33% leaving you around 5% yield.

    With savings accounts offering nothing this looks even better.PEI, RPT, CBL all also look like solid dividend returners over the next 3-4 years with similar rates of return.
    Jan 25 11:44 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Jan. Dallas Fed Manufacturing Outlook: Business Activity Index 8.3 vs. 3.2 the month before. Mfg. Production Index 7.4 vs. 0.1 prior. New orders, shipments and capacity utilization also showed improvements.  [View news story]
    The report looks fairly solid to me......lets hope that other sections of the country are doing equally as well and start to build an actual foundation for recovery. Improvement in capacity utilization is needed to draw back laid-off workers and spur expansion, and to see that improve is a good sign.
    Jan 25 11:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Well, this oughta help AIG's (AIG) public image: Of the employees set to receive $195M in retention payments, a "substantial" number no longer work for the insurer.  [View news story]
    The USA used to be a country where anyone could make it through hard work and we are just like France where you make it due to your bloodlines and ability to kiss ass.

    This is beyond pathetic and the mere fact that a year after the last fiasco there are still any retention bonusses at a bankrupt company just shows how the game has been changed to only reward the "chosen elite". Joe sixpack is screwed but thats ok as long as the privledged few get their millions that they are "owed".
    Jan 21 11:21 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • PIMCO's El-Erian: Markets Are Not Facing Reality [View article]
    I don't know if stocks are overvalued or undervalued. But I do know this guy sells bonds. And it tiring to listen to him/Gross every day on some media outlet trying to scare people into buying bonds.
    Jan 17 06:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • On Friday's earnings call, Morgan Stanley's Betsy Graseck asked JPMorgan's (JPM) Jamie Dimon what's in the way of raising its dividend? Dimon: "I think we’ve said we really want to see a real recovery before we do that because we don’t want to have to do this again. Just in case we have another dip down here."  [View news story]
    but they don't need to see a real recovery before raising bonusses???
    Jan 17 06:15 PM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment