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  • The clock is ticking for Tesla Motors (TSLA -0.4%) as it sees its government loan tapped out and shareholders unlikely to back new stock offerings. The company holds on to $133M of deposits for customers waiting for Model S deliveries, but relying on future deposits could get tricky if production slows. Also, by the end of October the Department of Energy wants a repayment plan from Tesla for its outstanding loan. Will the rave Model S reviews fire up even more enthusiastic buyers to plop down deposits? [View news story]
    If they don't raise the money to ensure their solvency then it will be a catch 22 - people will hesitate to buy a car from a company that could go into "bankruptcy". This will slow down sales at a time when sales need to pick up.

    Definitely bad PR for a product at this pricepoint.

    I can't see how the shareholders have much choice in the matter.

    Good luck if you are a shareholder here.
    Sep 26, 2012. 11:17 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: Time For A Rebound In Confidence? [View article]
    Doug,

    Just a quick point to bolster your excellent observations, our system of government is a Republic. We are not a democratic system of government specifically for the reasons you mentioned. The Founders understood based upon historical precedents (Greece, Rome) that democracies tend to be controlled by the majority who will do all of the things you mentioned and devolve into the "mob".

    The genius of our system is that the branches of government are co-equal and especially in the case of the Senate this allows for the minority to express its will based upon allocated seats rather than population. Gridlock was an intentional by-product of the design rather than an accident specifically for those times when things go way off-track.
    Sep 25, 2012. 01:56 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Motors (TSLA) warns due to a "slower ramp in production" 2012 revenue will come in at $400M to $440M and Q3 margins will be negatively affected. The company says it still expects to meet its production goal of 20K Model S deliveries for 2013. [View news story]
    me2dumb,

    "but it's turning a nice profit per vehicle"

    Can you explain this comment?

    They lost over $100 million last quarter.
    Sep 25, 2012. 11:47 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Excessive Bullishness? [View article]
    "What Excessive Bullishness?"

    Clearly the answer to this question is dependent upon the source you use to measure this psychology.

    The Bespoke "poll" is a misnomer. It is not a poll since it lacks statistical validity. It is a self-selection survey.

    http://bit.ly/SPFE5t

    Investors Intelligence has a methodology and a track record to assess its validity going back decades. According to them we have excessive bullishness.

    Link to the data on Schaeffers:

    http://bit.ly/xQNJ14

    I learned a long time ago that when it comes to investing always read the "Footnotes and the Fineprint" first.
    Sep 25, 2012. 11:40 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The S&P probably deserves a multiple of 20 given the Fed is going to be holding short rates at 0% and the 10-year around 2% for many more years, writes David Kotok. Given this and a conservative earnings guess of $90, fair value for the S&P 500 would be 1800 today. As for the end of the decade? If the Fed's going to keep with this, his previous guess of 2K is far too conservative. [View news story]
    FED adds 3rd mandate:

    "PE Multiple Expansion".

    Ben Bernanke says that the Hampton real estate market is critical to the long-term health of our economy: "The prospect of hedge fund managers being forced to rent housing would be a devastating blow to the psyche of our country. The FED will do everything in its power to prevent this from occurring."

    Senate Finance & Banking Committee Testimony, Sept 13th, 2012
    Sep 24, 2012. 11:47 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: Time For A Rebound In Confidence? [View article]
    "Hopium". Hmm.
    Sep 24, 2012. 09:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Aug Chicago Fed National Activity Index: -0.87 vs. -0.12 prior (revised). The index's 3-month moving average decreased to -0.47%, from a level of -0.26% in July (revised). [View news story]
    "The CFNAI is a weighted average of 85 existing monthly indicators of national economic activity. It is constructed to have an average value of zero and a standard deviation of one. Since economic activity tends toward trend growth rate over time, a positive index reading corresponds to growth above trend and a negative index reading corresponds to growth below trend.

    The 85 economic indicators that are included in the CFNAI are drawn from four broad categories of data: production and income; employment, unemployment, and hours; personal consumption and housing; and sales, orders, and inventories. Each of these data series measures some aspect of overall macroeconomic activity. The derived index provides a single, summary measure of a factor common to these national economic data."

    Right now GDP tracking at 1.5% so "slower pace" of growth doesn't leave much room for error.
    Sep 24, 2012. 08:39 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Just 2 Things Really Matter This Week - Both From Washington [View article]
    Muoio,

    This is one of the most embarrassing posts I have seen on this blog.

    There are only two parties in this country and half of the people belong to one or the other and to ascribe these kinds of positions - "sociopaths, pirates, under-informed Fox News white guys (they watch the blonds....oblivious that they are being brainwashed), Racists, Klanmen, and others that believe in nullification" - to half the country is disgusting and infantile.

    You describe yourself as a "Former CEO".

    The "former" makes a lot more sense now.
    Sep 23, 2012. 03:43 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "If Steve Jobs were still alive, would the new map application on the iPhone 5 be such an unmitigated disaster?" asks Joe Nocera. It's a question many others are also asking, given the huge backlash to iOS 6 Maps. But to Nocera, a potentially bigger concern is that Jobs' absence will limit the risk-taking that drove Apple's (AAPL) meteoric rise. Joshua Topolsky: "The iPhone 5 is unquestionably the best iPhone ever made ... but right now Apple seems to be in a holding pattern, too comfortable or too scared to take real chances." (also: I, II[View news story]
    "but right now Apple seems to be in a holding pattern, too comfortable or too scared to take real chances."

    Not including NFC in this release is another excellent example of this mindset.

    Innovators lead they don't follow - without Jobs AAPL is becoming a follower.
    Sep 23, 2012. 03:40 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • "If Steve Jobs were still alive, would the new map application on the iPhone 5 be such an unmitigated disaster?" asks Joe Nocera. It's a question many others are also asking, given the huge backlash to iOS 6 Maps. But to Nocera, a potentially bigger concern is that Jobs' absence will limit the risk-taking that drove Apple's (AAPL) meteoric rise. Joshua Topolsky: "The iPhone 5 is unquestionably the best iPhone ever made ... but right now Apple seems to be in a holding pattern, too comfortable or too scared to take real chances." (also: I, II[View news story]
    Kenn,

    When you replace an existing feature with an inferior feature that is not considered innovative - that's called stupid.

    It is a measure of the cult-like power of the company that its users would defend it rather than criticize it for lowering the quality of the user's experience. Eventually, however this type of behavior sows the seeds of its eventual downfall.
    Sep 23, 2012. 03:38 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Embarking On A New Secular Bull Market? [View article]
    The 80's bull market began with a PE ratio of around 7 and the dividend yield at around 5%.

    http://bit.ly/RSxKIo
    http://bit.ly/UtMJP4
    We didn't get close to this level for any period of time during the current cycle - unless you believe one quarter satisfies the criteria.

    According to research done by Mauldin periods of time associated with excessively high or excessively low interest rates are not "bull markets" from a return point of view. They may be great trading periods - the 1930's had some of the highest all-time performances in stock market history yet the losses on a CAGR basis were incredible.

    I agree with Stanley that we still haven't bottomed in this cycle. If it does bottom then we really do get an opportunity of a lifetime to buy. Hopefully it is a new bull-market because the conditions for satisfying the secular bear criteria would be very nasty.
    Sep 23, 2012. 12:25 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Gasoline Purchases Plummeting: Another Recession Indicator? [View article]
    Steven,

    "But alas, I have been frustrated in the past trying to correlate fuel consumption to the economy - and the Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index crashed and burned trying to correlate diesel to the economy."

    I used to pay attention to this indicator as it seemed pretty good as a coincident indicator. Why did it fail in your estimation?

    I almost sense a political aspect behind this one as the University did not want to associate itself with a negative viewpoint on the economy once the data started getting "mushy".
    Sep 23, 2012. 12:08 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Just 2 Things Really Matter This Week - Both From Washington [View article]
    Imagine the outrage in this country and the media especially if the word Bush replaced Obama in this excerpt and Romney with Obama:

    "As far as European leaders are concerned, they don't want Romney, so they're probably willing to do anything to help Obama's chances," said the source, an EU official involved in finding solutions to the debt crisis. (emphasis mine)"

    Errors of omission are just as damaging as errors of commission.

    We had a second terrorist attack on Sept 11th, apparently some parts of the world are not that enamored with the prospect of the reelection of President Obama.
    Sep 23, 2012. 12:01 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Electric Vehicles Are Still Not Ready For Prime Time [View article]
    s2herring,

    http://bit.ly/zchItO
    "Psychological projection or projection bias is a psychological defense mechanism where a person subconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, usually to other people. Thus, projection involves imagining or projecting the belief that others originate those feelings.[1]"
    Sep 23, 2012. 11:51 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • H-P (HPQ) is reportedly working on a system that will combine server, storage, and networking functionality in the same box. The system, which will run on Intel (INTC) CPUs (presumably Xeon), will compete with Oracle's integrated "engineered" systems, as well as IBM's PureSystems hardware and Cisco's UCS servers. H-P's gear is supposedly aimed at cloud deployments, but the might just be marketing talk, especially since many cloud service providers are opting for commodity servers. [View news story]
    SA,

    It's easy to mock with that specific blurb. Whitman is no technologist which is why this company is not going to be a technology leader any time soon.

    I was the founder of a web hosting business in 1999 and the ideas they are propounding were old back then.

    Remember " the network is the computer" idea?

    http://bit.ly/QLeopv
    In 1984, John Gage, from Sun Microsystems, coined the phrase "The Network is the Computer" to describe the emerging world of distributed computing. (http://bit.ly/RJUPTl) This was only three years after the stand-alone, non-networked PC had been introduced to the workplace, and most people dismissed John’s idea.

    Sounds like they are working on a NetApp to me.

    Revolutionary would be embracing the SSD technology and taking it in bold new directions:

    http://bit.ly/QLeqOg

    Or they could do the big company thing and buy Fusion i-o
    http://bit.ly/OiHnF8
    Sep 22, 2012. 04:14 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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