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random walking

random walking
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  • Nationalization the Ayn Rand Way [View article]
    The usual mix of dogma and fact. Lets apply a more rigorous standard to describing what has been going on in America and the world. Perhaps we need some new metaphors that don't reinforce selective memory and promote class warfare.
    Feb 27, 2009. 10:29 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sick of Hyperbolic Rubish [View article]
    It may be time to back off the rhetoric, but it is too early to stop the hard questioning. Moving toxic debt from one set of hands to another without a transparent, open market place is pandering to insider self interest, is an endorsement of central planning and undermines the marketplace. Why hasn't a single CDO been segmented into its various components and been marketed in a transparent public exchange (internet based)? Loan servicers obviously are willing to work with an assortment of owners. If mortgage notes have been lost, and the chances of some form of recovery are nil, it is time to mark to zero now.
    Central planners need only the resolve and some consensus from a large segment of their paid constituency and foreign lenders who are needed to fund our "revenue shortfall" in order to decree the unsecurization of CDOs in the hands of insolvent parties. Right now the parties key to a consensus can't even agree on calling a zombie a zombie. This process of resolving so-called illiquid assets is dragging out because we have not learned how to ask the right questions yet, and because the battle of the titans on how to grab their welfare check continues unresolved in the background. It is not rhetoric to acknowledge that welfare has been transferred from the public housing single mom to those who pay for elections of our elected officials. It is also telling to see who has been on the receiving end of money given to AIG and funneled through the financial system. Sick of rubbish, yes. But are we ready for the truth? No.

    Mar 8, 2009. 03:05 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Void Payout to Non-Debt Holders of CDSs [View article]
    At the minimum, your idea deserves inclusion in the debate. We have these quasi-receiverships, quasi-bankruptcies, quasi-conservatorships, and imposed ownership restructurings that have not foreseen all implications, and that are motivated by political pressures as well as pragmatic needs. It is clear that by going the quasi route, the normal regulatory forces that were implied by rule of law were being circumvented.

    Clearly there is reason to consider that prior contracts are not all cast in stone, and to start giving the highest weight to this point. Obviously, our conceptual framework in regards to solving this mess is evolving, and your comment can only help in this evolution.

    The political expediency in using quasi restructuring steps is problematic in that existing rule of law may not apply. If the pre-crash rule of law was not sufficient for intervening with failed mega corporations, then instead of inventing new quasi systems of restructuring, regulators and politicians should have done the necessary homework to revise the systems of restructuring allowed by the rule of law. Then all contracts would have been on the table, not just those at the whim of the regulators (politicians) operating outside the rule of law.
    Mar 22, 2009. 02:03 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • This 'Band-Aid' Approach Is Getting Old [View article]
    If by Wall Street as crisis problem solver, you mean the insider politically connected instititions in lower Manhattan, that is anti-capitalistic. The internet makes lower Manhattan irrelevant except for concentrating political influence.

    The only reason markets for securities would be centralized was if technology was insufficient to decentralize trading. Trading works best when all players of all sizes everywhere have equal access during all timeframes. Capitalism is supposed to be interested in "free markets", open markets, level playing fields. Wall Street and Washington are a form of central planning, which has its place to prevent market abuses, not to replace markets. For example, not a single packaged CDO has been unpackaged and auctioned off in a transparent market place that was open to the public. There are examples of internet "market places" that would serve as a great conduit for marketing mortgage securities to the widest possible audience. Financial institutions with troubled assets that need to be unloaded are looking to the wrong place to unload them (the Federal Government), and are unwilling to do what it takes to unload them in a free market. Have we become tone deaf to what capitalism is? Wall Street was not real capitalism.
    Mar 8, 2009. 04:34 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Thank GDP It's Friday - Finally Some Facts [View article]
    Hope you don't mind, but I submitted this article to Reddit this morning. I can't add anything to what you said, because you nailed it better than I have seen anyone do so far. Can you imagine what the conversations are like that lead to these policies, conversations at the Fed, at the member banks, among those who lobby for these policies. Or maybe those conversations don't even need to happen, since additional taxes at the Federal level that can be seen by investors and voters have been off the table for so long now. Funny about those state and county taxes though, mine in Florida doubled in the Bush II era. NJ too I bet.
    Oct 30, 2010. 11:30 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • An Immediate, Implementable Solution to Toxic Assets [View article]
    Or you could do something that showed you had faith in free markets, innovation, and technology. The only reasons markets are not working right now to adjust to a massive fraud and corruption that came about by the failure of proper regulation and the acceptance of political contributions (bribes), is that Wall Street (and the banksters, AIG etc.) and Washington DC are negotiating to transfer failure from one set of baskets to other sets of baskets behind closed doors. The free market doesn't function in this environment and the economy does a time out. The only way to get ugly assets moving again is to innovate improved markets for packaged and de-packaged instruments that are sinking the economy. If you can sell individual houses, you can sell individual mortgages. Loan servicing outfits can compete for the business of the new owners.
    Mar 8, 2009. 10:04 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Merrill Lynch Bonuses: A Watershed Moment [View article]
    Capitalism is supposed to increase supply in response to a demand that drives costs to a level that is irrationally out of proportion (for example compensation on Wall Street). Either that, or it is supposed to create new alternatives (innovate). Capitalism was not functioning properly because the handful of Wall Street firms had an oligopoly in an industry where the main barrier to entry was political connections (contributions/bribes)... The form of capitalism that failed and the form of central planning that Wall Street Inc. and Washington D.C. are proposing to replace it with have more in common with each other than they do with a free market system where government's role is to encourage free markets and to regulate those markets to prevent abuses that are destructive to free markets and society. The solution is innovation in the market place and a house cleaning of the regulatory apparatus. There is no such thing as an asset for which a market cannot be created; there is only a self interested attempt to hinder transparency in order to save face and push failure out of one's own basket into someone else’s. We are all communists now. You said it: they are just trying to save themselves, all else be damned. Watch what they do, not what they say.
    Mar 8, 2009. 09:47 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Myth of the Great Bond 'Bubble' [View article]
    According to the author of the article, a bubble can only be a bubble AFTER it has shown signs of bursting. Until then, it does not meet the definition of bubble. So, in advance of bursting, all we can have is "suspected bubbles". There ARE good reasons to consider that US treasuries are in a "suspected bubble". Comments by Davewmart and especially Charlie Price are more compelling than statements by the author of the article.
    Aug 19, 2010. 07:14 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • GM: An Inside Look [View article]
    After bankruptcy, the non-automotive chunks of GM should be sold off to defence contractors and groups like Catapillar, and the automotive chunks should be sold off if possible or closed. There is no shortage of capacity in relation to demand for automotive products worldwide, and the weakest will not survive. Why insist that the weakest survive? GM's toxic culture has reduced all the automotive brands except for Corvette to negative in value. They will need to drink more wine (a requisite for thinking?) and go to many more Sunday afternoon concerts before that has sunk in. Rick Wagoner will receive little emotional consolation from his $20M parachute. In the long run, those who have family who worked at GM will not remember him fondly or make excusses for his firing. The end of GM will look a lot like the end of the Soviet Union from the perspective of history.
    Apr 12, 2009. 09:13 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Clearwire: Is There Opportunity Amidst All the Fear and Uncertainty? [View article]
    Thanks for covering CLWR in professional depth. Did you look into the postential of VOIP over WIMAX to impact cell phone use?
    Mar 8, 2009. 12:54 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Bank Stress Tests: Why Not Before Now? [View article]
    Excellent article. The "old guard" is still largely in control of the problematic areas of the financial sector. For example, C and BAC CEOs may not willingly submit to an honest stress test. They still have the MSM behind them. The economy is held hostage while the game of chicken continues.

    If the titans of Wall Street lose their temper tanturm, they will take their golden chutes and blame the economic havoc they leave behind on anyone who stands in the way of returning the reins of Washingon to the financial elite.

    The ones who approved funding the Iraq war, financial bail outs and guarantees totalling at least 10x the amount of the recent Obama spending plan plus a continuation of a very top heavy military budget (trillions per decade and 700 plus foreign bases), scream bloody murder that the Obama spending plan passed as if it is the end of the world.
    Feb 23, 2009. 12:54 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Moment of Truth for U.S. Nuclear Energy [View article]
    Take a look at the controversy surrounding Progress Energy's plans to build new nuclear plants in Florida. The projected cost per constructed MW, the projected timeline to build, the projected needs for financing and rate impacts convince me these plans will never come to reality. Progress Energy is betting the company that improvements in energy efficiency and load balancing, improved power grid, decling costs for purchased power, increasingly competitive costs for implementing alternative energy, and elasticity of demand at higher rates, will not render such a long term capital intesive project to be uneconomic. The longer this folly persists, the more customers, shareholders, employees and the economic well being of the community will be hurt. Management should be replaced sooner than later.
    Feb 19, 2009. 11:24 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Next Micro Move May Be Up, But the Macro One Will Be Down [View article]
    Julian, thanks for your blogs/articles. Very thoughtful. I look forward to many more. John
    Oct 6, 2010. 03:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Getting Out of Dollars and Being Cheap About It [View article]
    Nicholas, I enjoy your posts, comments, etc. Have you looked into triple short IWM etf called SRTY?
    Sep 23, 2010. 09:54 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kick Back and Just Accept Risk-Off? [View article]
    Wow, I can't believe you don't get more comments on seeking alpha except that a) it is not clear to me what you are buying, holding, or selling b) you are in a class of your own intellectually and the crowd would rather hang around with people who are more like them. Anyway, here is a thought: an article on Sweden two years after its crisis of the 90's started vs. the USA two years after 2008. Seems like the USA has spent a much larger share of its GDP bailing out the financial system than Sweden did, and got a lot less benefit for it. Regardless, keep up the good work!
    Sep 14, 2010. 09:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment