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  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    Happy Veterans Day -- a heart-felt thanks to those who have served!
    Nov 11, 2013. 06:44 AM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    > JPM has also raised its estimate of possible legal losses in
    > excess of reserves to $6.8B

    I wonder how many times over they made in excess of $6.8B by lying, cheating, and stealing?

    Financial crime penalties need to amount to more than just a small cost of doing business.
    Aug 8, 2013. 07:00 AM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    The point is that they ARE the mainstream media. They're not some independent outlet struggling to be heard above the din.

    They ARE the din.

    THEY are controlling the narrative more than anyone else -- with their obvious, self-admitted ( slant.

    Yes, Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews (who is just /terrible/ by the way) are hilariously biased. No one with any sense denies this.

    Almost everyone on Fox News is biased too, but the difference is none of their viewers realize it or admit it.

    The sad reality is that real investigative journalism is hard to find these days, and reasonably unbiased journalism is even harder to find -- but the only people who don't seem to realize this are FOX NEWS VIEWERS. ;-)
    Mar 5, 2013. 08:03 AM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "Asian-Americans are the highest-income, best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States," the Pew Research Center wrote in recent massive study. The WSJ discusses the rise of Asian-Americans in a weekend essay, saying that they "have become the immigrant group that most embodies the American promise of success driven by will and resolve." [View news story]
    > the notion "blue eyed" people have some type of inside track
    > (as someone above suggested) in America is a joke. We are
    > in fact a rapidly shrinking minority who will likely be a mere
    > novelty in the not to distant future.

    The observation you are referring to is driven by the fact (mere coincidence, undoubtedly) that whites are still the overwhelming majority in business and government leadership positions, and in higher income brackets in general.

    But don't worry, Asians will displace you soon. :-)
    Oct 28, 2012. 10:54 AM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The supercommittee breakdown will likely lead to more "lengthy and heated" battles over the deficit throughout 2012, HSBC says. At some point rating agencies will lose their patience, so be wary of further downgrades of the U.S. sovereign credit rating "at some point next year."  [View news story]
    This is part of the problem. This comment, right here.

    Demonizing the other side doesn't help.

    Not compromising even an inch doesn't help.

    Applauding a complete and utter lack of progress doesn't help.
    Nov 20, 2011. 03:49 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Barring an unforeseen miracle, Congress' supercommittee will concede tomorrow it has failed in its efforts to produce $1.2T in deficit cuts. With even a fig-leaf deal now unlikely, talks are focused on "how to shut this turkey down."  [View news story]
    Tip O'Neill behaved reasonably when all was said and done. As did Reagan.

    The same cannot be said of the likes of Boehner, Pelosi, McConnell, and Reid.

    There is far too much extreme partisanship (and extreme positions) on all sides. Reagan would be branded a raging liberal by today's so-called conservatives.

    But go ahead, keep thinking the "righties" will solve all the world's problems. Let me know how that works out for you.
    Nov 20, 2011. 02:47 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Chesapeake Energy (CHK) says workers have stopped the flow of drilling fluids from a natural gas well in Pennsylvania that leaked the chemical-laced water for two days. Critics say hydraulic fracturing - "fracking" - could poison water supplies; the company claims the incident posed "minimal" environmental impact.  [View news story]
    Since you're clearly not the reading type, watch the movie "Gasland" -- pretty interesting stuff, with people lighting their water faucets on fire after fracking operations, gas company reps refusing to drink local water supplies, etc.

    Sure, it's just a couple hippies making a low budget documentary, but it clearly demonstrates that there are definitely some problems with how natural gas gets collected, and that at minimum, some investigations and studies are warranted..
    Apr 22, 2011. 10:15 AM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street crooks crushed the economy, so "Why isn't anyone in jail?" Matt Taibbi asks. Financial crimes are the worst kind, he says, "crimes of intellectual choice, made by people who are already rich and who have every conceivable social advantage, acting on a simple, cynical calculation: Let’s steal whatever we can, then dare the victims to find the juice to reclaim their money through a captive bureaucracy.”  [View news story]
    Did they have the interest of the American public at heart by buying those mortgage loans from the original lenders, thereby removing all incentive to make good loans?

    Did they have the interest of the American public at heart when they bundled those mortgages up and leveraged them to the hilt?

    Did they have the interest of the American public at heart when they sold those fragile securities to investors and claimed they were safe?

    No, no, and no.

    They knew exactly what they were doing -- they just hoped to get out at the top.
    Feb 16, 2011. 06:42 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Rapper 50 Cent pumped a penny stock to his Twitter followers over the weekend, and the shares exploded higher. Jesse Eisinger asks: “Is what 50 Cent did really that different from what happens all day long on CNBC when professional money managers take to the airwaves to praise the stocks of companies they already own?”  [View news story]
    Most major entertainers are also business owners. Whether it's clothes or, as in this case, electronics, most stars have significant stakes in various business enterprises.

    And like all business stakeholders, they would like nothing more than to pump their holdings to anyone who'll listen (and buy).

    And no, what 50 Cent did was no different than CNBC. In fact, he was on CNBC doing the same sort of thing:
    Jan 12, 2011. 06:23 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Elaine Garzarelli says it's the best time in decades to buy stocks, citing Japan's QE experiences that goosed its stock market but not its economy: "After they implemented QE1, and they did it with aggression, the [Nikkei] went up 50%. The second time they did it with aggression, like we're doing it, the [Nikkei] went up 80%." But with everyone liking stocks again, is it time to sell?  [View news story]
    > Is it really that possible that average Americans truly are moronic
    > nitwits?

    Sort of. Keep in mind that average individual investors don't work in finance. I know that's hard for finance people to believe, but it really is true. How bizarre is that?

    See, they don't sit at a desk all day researching stocks or reading reports and articles on the state of the economy. They don't study the plethora of hedging or leveraging strategies that can be employed with options and other tools. They don't read this website or others like it.

    Why on earth would they not do these things?

    Well, for starters, they have jobs. And not the kind of jobs where they do the same sort of things all day that they'd do with their own investments, but real jobs that actually drive the real companies behind the stocks that people invest in.

    Sure, when they're not working, they probably watch too much reality TV (which is to say, any at all), and they waste even more hours spending time with their families and friends, and they also have to work on their cars and clean their homes and cook their food -- those ignorant bastards, don't they know they should be studying their watch lists and going to bed early so they can be ready for those pre-market trades??? My god, it's so sad.

    So, because of their wildly poor time management, when they /do/ think about investing, they have to turn to lightweight sources that fit into their busy schedules of not being fulltime investors. Even more sadly, this is usually the financial media. Maybe they watch Cramer, or maybe they skim the internet -- probably or (free version only). I know, I know, it brings a tear to my eye too.

    Of course, that's just their daily routine.

    Once in a while, they visit a financial adviser. And by visit I mean pay. It's someone recommended by a friend of a friend. Seems like he knows his stuff. Nice suit, nice office. Of course, in 2005 and 2006, this guy was telling them to invest in real estate. In 2007 and early 2008, he was telling them to pile into stocks. In 2009, he said to stay in cash (probably his most sensible call given the risks at the time). And now he's saying it's finally time to get back into stocks! Or at least into a new fund he's paid to sell happy to talk up.

    So -- yes, they are, in a way, nitwits. They listen to the widely publicized experts. They consult professionals. They ignore what sound like conspiracy theories. They don't work with money and don't have the luxury of spending 40+ hrs/week learning about it, so they are left to rely on the advice of those who do.

    And they'll probably get burned. Again. By the same people that burned them last time. (An Einstein quote comes to mind.)

    But that's OK, because they "deserve" it, right?

    Dec 22, 2010. 09:48 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Continuing to Pay for an 'Underwater' Home: Conditioning, Morality or Naivete? [View article]
    There's morality and then there's stupidity.

    Honoring your end of the deal? That's moral.

    Honoring it when the other guy systematically destroyed the value of your end of the deal? That's just stupid -- I don't care what anybody signed.

    Yes, there are plenty of deadbeat borrowers that contributed to the problem -- but they're getting what they deserve: foreclosure, bankruptcy, etc. But make no mistake, this was not an equal partnership. The banks are the gatekeepers, the decision-makers. They /chose/ to allow liar loans, zero down payments, etc; the borrower didn't have a gun to their heads (and for the vast majority of loans, neither did the gov't).

    Regardless, responsible borrows who took loans they could afford, and have been making their payments, have held up their part of the bargain. The banks, however, 1) perpetrated the most significant destruction of equity in decades, 2) received the biggest government bailout in history, and 3) continue to take undue risks and come down hard on new and existing borrowers.

    Underwater borrowers have lost their down payments, their equity, and their ability to relocate anytime in the next decade -- not due to "normal market forces," but precisely /because/ of the actions of the very banks that gave them those loans.

    I see no problem with the borrowers returning the favor.
    Dec 18, 2009. 07:15 AM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fixing CNBC [View article]
    CNBC is good for one thing: unfiltered news. You'll hear it there first (or close to it). And that's a good thing, don't get me wrong.

    However, after that, they will repeat and reiterate that news most of the day, but don't expect them offer any kind of useful analysis or investigation of that news.

    All you get when they do try are:
    1) random predictions that try to sound urgent and
    2) utter partisan hacks that can't put their own agendas down long enough to actually talk about the money

    I forget who said it, but they were right on: (paraphrasing) "CNBC will make you stupid and poor. If you have to watch it, watch it with the sound off."
    Mar 17, 2009. 08:26 AM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    History will be the judge of Bush vs. Obama for worst president in generations, and it will find you just as wrong as you usually are.

    Although, the over-50 crowded leaned pretty strongly toward Romney in 2012, so you might be on to something with the brain atrophy. ;-)
    Nov 21, 2013. 07:55 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    > New trial starting in Apple vs Samsung battle.

    Once again, our broken patent system enriches lawyers at the expense of innovation.
    Nov 12, 2013. 07:13 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    > What happened to all the Macho, Patriotic, beat em up, MIC
    > loving Republicans?

    It's all they can do to keep their heads from exploding. On the one hand they love them some good ol' fashioned war, but on the other hand they can't bring themselves to agree with Obama.

    Perhaps the President should try this reverse psychology technique in other arenas. He should make such frightening statements like how much he hates a single payer healthcare system, and how we should never invest in infrastructure, and how great coal is, and how Larry Summers should be fed chief -- oh wait........

    Hmm, maybe it's not such a good idea after all. ;-)
    Sep 10, 2013. 07:19 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment