Seeking Alpha


Send Message
View as an RSS Feed
View maxiedog's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • The Greek Opportunity [View article]
    The professor fails to identify a fundamental reason that Greece has failed to attract the FDI that it desperately requires. This is the legal system. It is not understood generally that virtually any small group in Greece can issue proceedings in the Council of State ( i.e. essentially the Supreme Court ) for very little cost to themselves. There is barely a single major planned investment in Greece over the last 10-15 years that has not been stymied at huge cost for years by such asymmetric action. The lesson has been well learned by international investors who avoid the country like the plague. The Greek government have responded to this situation in the light of their economic woes by setting up a FastTrack process for strategic investments. This is controlled by 'Invest in Greece' who after 15 months have yet to make any significant announcements. Some are expected soon and the jury is out until then.
    Aug 17, 2012. 05:59 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Oil: Does Supply And Demand Matter? [View article]
    Whilst the profligate use of oil by the US is moderating as you observe I would still be concerned that the average cost/bbl of new production is rising significantly. Deepwater ( US GofM, Brazil, Africa, Russia ) and other technically demanding reserves ( onshore sub-salt, Siberian Arctic, tar sands ) for example are much more expensive to produce than existing reserves. A precipitous fall in the oil price has the dual effect of removing such production from the market and causing investment in the necessary infrastructure to be postponed or abandoned. This latter issue is not fully appreciated as it may cause entire mature regions to be closed prematurely and permanently; the North Sea or Canadian tar sands being prime examples. The oil industry's response to a collapse in investment following a severe OP cut will be slow bearing in mind the delays in complex projects' approval, financing and execution. You may well be correct in your analysis but we have to take great care that we are not merely stoking a future supply crisis.
    Aug 15, 2012. 09:42 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Get Ready Right Now: Beaten Greece Will Martyr Itself [View article]
    Greece's problems go beyond this although much of what is said is true in my limited experience. Greek society is corrupt in root and branch. The legal system is a turgid joke. The professional classes do not pay their taxes. The politicians are incompetent. Their labour market is so inefficient it is laughable. etc etc. Individually they are as good and likeable as other nationalities but collectively they are dysfunctional. They need to be left to their own devices. Only then will they have no-one but themselves to blame and perhaps then they will set about putting themselves right. The sad thing is that their recent attitudes now leave them with few friends. Where would they be now without the EU? Utterly bankrupt. The borrow vast sums from Germany ( i.e. EU ) and then revile them in print. What do they think the German reaction will be?
    Jul 8, 2012. 04:28 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Spain And Italy's Faustian Bargain With Germany [View article]
    Thanks again for teasing out a line of reasoning on this James. It is confusing even to the most logical of investors and the potential implications for our future wealth are severe. The responses to the argument are also very useful in testing the hypothesis. It is difficult to gauge how this will all work out in practice as anything EU is laced with irrational, sacred cow politics and complex national prejudices. No matter, I feel better warned by Jame's articles and all my sensors are tuned in now.
    Jul 2, 2012. 05:09 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Facebook: The Real Fun Is About To Start [View article]
    IMO FB meets a need but as for all needs met by a technology familiarity reveals the downsides. FB's downsides are a potential loss of personal privacy and the realisation that 'being friends' is a more complex and valuable relationship than links in a FB page. If privacy and real friendship is not delivered by FB then it will not grow as it will be seen to deliver a hollow promise. The price of growth is surely factored in at the present MC and its lack will cause a revaluation. The jury is out but I can see downsides.
    Jun 26, 2012. 01:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Reasons Why Nabors Could Hit Analyst Targets And Nearly Double [View article]
    'hydraulic drilling'....? You mean hydraulic fracturing and shows that you know next to nothing about Nabors or E&P.
    Jun 18, 2012. 02:20 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sunday's French Elections: Preliminary Thoughts [View article]
    To boil it down; the majority of EU sovereigns are going to have to give up much of their sovereignty to Germany if the Euro is to survive. Many of them they will be reduced to vassal states dependent on fiscal transfers from the stronger Eurozone participants. This analysis in part appears to be the consensus. Where has this woolly-minded, touchy, feely Euro 'project' taken us ? IMO; Germany imposes its will on Europe without a shot being fired. The Euro being the instrument of this anti-democratic revolution. I have a bad feeling that placing many EU states in this subordinate position will not end well. There is an alternative.
    Jun 9, 2012. 02:15 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Falklands Oil & Gas Limited: High Risk/Reward Play For 5 Billion Barrels Of Oil [View article]
    Agree. Argentina are only a factor in deterring the super-majors and NOCs purchasing FI junior E&Ps AFTER they have discovered significant resources. See Rockhopper as an example of this ( minor IMO ) post-discovery negative effect in action. However, FOGL's resources could be so large as to overcome even this if they were wholly successful.
    Jun 2, 2012. 03:23 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Anadarko: Buy Now While Cheap [View article]
    Anadarko is the operator offshore Mozambique and therefore is in total control of the project no matter who owns the other %. Cove is a junior partner and has no import to Anadarko no matter what it does or Shell if they buy them out. There are no downsides in Mozambique for Anadarko from the points you make and the entry of Shell just provides them with a monetisation route that was not there before. All positive.
    May 22, 2012. 04:23 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Congratulations - A Nokia Bankruptcy Is Baked Into The Price Already [View article]
    Many of the arguments in this market focus on hard technology and IMO this is wrong. AAPL dominated for soft reasons; marketing, design, inter-operability and eco-system. Once consumers 'live' in an environment it becomes difficult to leave. The question in my mind is not whether Nokia can compete in hardware where they are very capable but can MS populate an eco-system and establish a market position in the face of AAPL and Android dominance. Microsoft has proven how difficult it can be for technologically superior competitors to attack an incumbent in a soft-technology market. Microsoft's Windows originally was an atrocious piece of software but its eco-system; Word, Xcel etc. occupied an exploding niche that became the mainstream. AAPL has achieved that dominance with the iPhone and Android has provided a 'similar' lo-cost entry for its competitors. Nokia & MS's problem is trying to establish a new eco-system in the face of two powerful incumbents and that will not be easy. IMO Nokia should not have partnered with MS. If it had gone down the Samsung route with Android it could have easily competed with both them and AAPL. We shall see.
    May 17, 2012. 12:17 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Greece Fears Are Overblown [View article]
    It is up to the Greek populace. They registered a protest vote that placed a political and economic ingenue Alexis Tsipras into a position of influence. Like most Greek politicians he has no interest except self-interest. The Greeks are waking up from a decades-long dream of 'someone else will pay' to the reality of 'I must pay'. Do not bet that they will come to their senses. They have poor leadership and their personal delusions are powerful. They are sleep-walking into a maelstrom and may take many of us with them. It is difficult to have sympathy with the Greeks to be honest as their 'system' is mired in corruption and incompetence.
    May 17, 2012. 11:55 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Petroleo Brasileiro: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon [View article]
    The extreme water depth involving severe cross-currents PLUS very deep below-salt reservoirs are challenging are at the edge of available technique. However, the Brazilian offshore oil discoveries are huge and therefore very profitable if they can avoid catastrophic spills. The pursuit by Brazil of Chevron for a minimal spill at Roncador field is indicative of the corner in which PB might be painted if something 'real' occurs. You can bet that the foreign service partners will be used as a reason to fully nationalise PB. To me, that is the risk.
    May 8, 2012. 03:50 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Lithium-Ion A Borgia Battery? [View article]
    Imagine you were testing gasoline today as a fuel for passenger vehicles... What would your conclusions be? You need to get a grip as you must be aware of the litigious nature of the consumer in the US. This one factor effectively prohibits the entry into service of any device that was not tested to destruction and was subsequently deemed as intrinsically safe. Oh, that is what the GM engineers and scientists were doing. It's labelled extreme testing.... Scratch that battery chemistry / structure is the result. You cannot produce enough H2S and/or hydrogen to produce a major H2S explosion without having a major component of the battery being sulphur. So, it was almost certainly a Lithium-Sulphur technology.
    Apr 22, 2012. 05:21 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 8 Reasons To Go Long Murphy Oil [View article]
    A useful analysis but it omits one of the most important mid-term drivers for Murphy in that they recently acquired a 50% WI in the Central Dohuk PSC in Kurdistan. This large acreage is WNW of and on-trend DNO's Dohuk and Gulf Keystone's discoveries of Ber Bahr, Sheikh Adi, Shaikan which together form one of the biggest onshore oil discoveries since WWII. The block was highly sought after and Murphy did a timely deal in getting in before Exxon arrived. At a net to Murphy of around 6%-7% of production ( after WI and PSC terms ) this could be a key driver for Murphy's revenue in coming years. Whilst the PSC is subject to the geo-politics of the area oil finds in the Bns of bbls are 'not unusual' in the region.
    Apr 1, 2012. 02:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Russia: Buying Twice The Growth For Half The Price [View article]
    EA; I've met with some of these guys and they are still around... Until 'property rights' are enshrined in law, the legal profession and judiciary are thoroughly trained in what they mean, a number of exemplary cases are prosecuted and the perps put in prison I would be cautious in the extreme. Putin is regarded with suspicion ( as if proof is required ) by democratic societies because he is a de facto dictator and his predecessor Medvedev demonstrated to be his puppet. When Putin has directly overseen the virtual elimination of the free media and journalists are murdered with impunity on the streets of Russian cities it is truth that is his real target. Russia is a criminal enterprise.... Invest in it if you wish but do so a with clear eye.
    Mar 29, 2012. 09:54 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment