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  • American Farmland Is Poised For Value Creation [View article]
    Farm cash rents in Illinois follow grain prices with a lag. Due to lower grain prices, 2016 rents are generally going to be lower. $300-$340 per tillable acre for prime land, versus around $400 per tillable acre in 2015.
    Nov 25, 2015. 09:45 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Farmland Partners: Is This A Clean Energy Play? [View article]
    Nice article, but i would not add any value to FPI for possible wind farms. They have no special position that would get them more of these.

    Also, wind farms are not an unalloyed plus for the farmer/landowner:
    1. You lose the acreage occupied by the windmill and the access road.
    2. Land is more difficult to farm. Turbines and roads chop up a farm. It is less time efficient and more expensive to farm.
    3. Turbines shade the surrounding crops, so yields fall.
    4. Noise and visual pollution.
    5. At the end of the lease, recovered land will take years to regain its productivity.
    6 Generally they are only required to remove equipment to a certain depth at the end of the lease. Owner may be left with considerable underground concrete and debris on the land.

    One may make a lot more on the few acres leased for a turbine, but one needs to consider losses in rent/value on the surrounding acreage.
    Nov 21, 2015. 09:57 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Pfizer: Big Fish Eat Little Fish [View instapost]
    I give Ian Read high marks for navigating the patent loss on Lipitor. Thus tend to give the benefit of a doubt that he knows what he is doing here.
    Allocating new positions to MRK and JNJ, which have lagged PFE, LLY and BMY the last several years.
    Nov 19, 2015. 11:06 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • NYT: Exxon climate statements under NY AG scrutiny [View news story]
    Any chance the AG can go after these people?

    Earth Day Predictions -From 1970
    Here are some predictions made on the occasion of Earth Day 1970.

    “We have about five more years at the outside to do something.”
    • Kenneth Watt, ecologist

    “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”
    • George Wald, Harvard Biologist

    “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.”
    • Barry Commoner, Washington University biologist

    “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”
    • New York Times editorial, the day after the first Earth Day

    “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”
    • Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

    “By…[1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.”
    • Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

    “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,”
    • Denis Hayes, chief organizer for Earth Day

    “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”
    • Peter Gunter, professor, North Texas State University

    “Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….”
    • Life Magazine, January 1970

    “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.”
    • Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

    Stanford's Paul Ehrlich announces that the sky is falling.
    “Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.”
    • Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

    “We are prospecting for the very last of our resources and using up the nonrenewable things many times faster than we are finding new ones.”
    • Martin Litton, Sierra Club director

    “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’”
    • Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

    “Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”
    • Sen. Gaylord Nelson

    “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”
    • Kenneth Watt, Ecologist
    Nov 5, 2015. 07:08 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Constellium beats on revenue [View news story]
    Thanks to all for the comments here. I own this too, and there is virtually no info available on why it has done so poorly.
    Nov 5, 2015. 01:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ConocoPhillips Clinging To Its Dividend [View article]
    Long COP, but would not be surprised by an eventual cut. With RDS and BP to follow.
    Nov 4, 2015. 12:14 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Travelers: Still Seriously Undervalued [View article]
    Well, there is a number of us who are glad your are still writing about life insurance instead of collecting on it.
    Oct 18, 2015. 09:53 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Travelers: Still Seriously Undervalued [View article]
    I have slowly come to the opinion that low interest rates may be here for a lot longer than one might think possible. In such an environment, all insurers are hurt on the income side, and I am sure adjust pricing accordingly.
    My thinking is that a P&C insurer, which might need a 3 year bond portfolio, is hurt less than a life insurer which needs a 20 year portfolio. Life insurers seem to mitigate this with long term assets like real estate, which would seem to have little part in a P&C portfolio.
    Do you see a low interest rate future favoring life, P&C, or, with matching of assets and liabilities, no significant difference?

    Thanks and welcome back. Hope you had some great hikes over the summer.
    Oct 18, 2015. 07:58 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • It Is Time To Think About Buying Some Soybeans [View article]
    Teucrium Soybean Fund has a 3.49% expense ratio. Seems a bit steep for a mechanical formula used to buy soybean futures.
    Oct 7, 2015. 10:00 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • California Resources - Making Cost Reduction Headway Independently [View article]
    People spoke of a Benanke put under the stock market. Is there an OXY put under CRC? OXY still owns 20% of CRC, and I would think it unlikely they would let CRC go under and turn that 20% over to the bond holders.

    CRC does sell oil pretty much at the higher Brent price, so Texas to California pipeline would be a $5.50 per barrel hit at todays price.
    Aug 20, 2015. 03:50 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REITs see modest buying interest as stocks tumble [View news story]
    I agree Ray. Way too much talk and worry over a token increase.
    Aug 20, 2015. 02:39 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Don't Chase Chesapeake Just Yet, Wait For Brent $33-$39 [View article]
    Steve, you do know that no matter how many assets CHK sells, the debt never seems to go down, right?

    If your friend saw suits in the field, more likely they are lawyers than oilmen.
    Aug 17, 2015. 08:37 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Chesapeake Energy - Preferred Shares Offer Appealing Opportunity [View article]
    Article looks at cash generation, but seems to be forgetting about cap ex. This company is hugely cash flow negative. Preferred dividend payment will require borrowing or asset sales.

    It would also be important to know if the preferred is cumulative or not before considering a purchase, as a halt in the preferred dividend could be in a future round of belt tightening.
    Aug 5, 2015. 04:36 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REIT Long/Short Pair Trade Opportunity [View article]
    Nice article! Thanks.
    Jul 27, 2015. 09:21 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • California Resources: Why I'm Still Long [View article]
    Reading through an interview on the investor website, looks like CRC would like to pay down $1.5 billion in debt by the end of 2016 through asset sales or partnerships, hopefully with some announcements by the end of 2015. That would put debt/equity about 200%, an area where they feel "comfortable".
    Jul 17, 2015. 08:16 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment