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  • The Philippines: An Emerging Market Flying Under The Radar [View article]
    There is certainly potential in the Philippines but that has been true for the past 50 years as country after country in Asia picks itself up and runs while the Philippines wanders rather aimlessly.

    The two biggest problems are political corruption on all sides of the spectrum and total disregard for the employed population who have near to no real rights. Job applicants have to pay application costs including medicals which they cannot afford and then get a 6 month contract. Politicians jail opposition politicians for years without trial on doubtful charges.

    In sincerely hope that the author is right.
    Apr 11, 2015. 11:48 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Yellen's Becoming More Aggressive On Fed Funds Rate Hike [View article]
    Inflation has been artificially reduced by the drop in price of oil and the rise in the value of the dollar both of which will continue to influence inflation for some time. Rates will not begin to rise until the dollar begins to fall and oil makes a meaningful recovery. the possibility of this happening by June is to put it in its mildest form, unlikely.

    That said she is completely correct that action needs to be taken earlier rather than later as any action has a built-in delay. Sure the market may fall on the day of the announcement but the real economy takes months to react thus it may well be necessary to increase rates toward the end of the year.

    The wild card remains the Middle East where a serious outbreak of war between the Sunni and Shite groups could have a serious impact on oil prices. Should either party decide to attack oil facilities in a serious way in order to wage economic warfare the price of oil would be back over $ 100 before the pundits could blink and inflation would follow just as fast as the world reset.
    Mar 31, 2015. 11:41 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • After Losing Half Of Its Value, The Largest Gold Producer Is Still A Sell [View article]
    In the end ABX is purely a bet on the gold price and wether or not gold will rise is anyone's bet.

    As the oil price has shown massive changes in any commodity prices can occur at any time and for little real reason. To suggest that oil more than halved in a matter of months simply due to a small production excess is is a long stretch.

    Gold can equally fall in half on a belief of weakness irrespective of facts. The only real reason to think that gold may recover is the fact that inflation is being held in check artificially by the oil price, once oil returns to a more normal market inflation may reappear with stunning speed, in which case gold MAY also recover equally quickly
    Mar 22, 2015. 12:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Could India 'Run The Table' Like China? [View article]
    India's biggest problems are -

    a. Excessive population growth.
    b. Lack of infrastructure.
    c. Internal customs barriers

    Modi has very laudable aims but he is facing enormous problems in a country where most of the population is amoung the poorest in the world with little chance of improving their position.

    It is difficult to justify the Chinese One Child Policy in human terms but in economic terms it was possibly the biggest factor in China's economic growth. I live in an Asian country with enormous potential but where the majority of the population can only focus on survival and trying to feed families of four, five or more on a family income of less than $10 per day while also desperatly trying to educate their children to allow them to escape poverty only to find that it is a mirage because the jobs do not exist.

    India's problems are made worse by the division of power between states and the central government which makes progress even slower.

    Modi is certainly trying and should be congratulated but his road is an extremely long and difficult one.
    Mar 19, 2015. 11:54 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why McDonald's Run Is Done At $100 [View article]
    The problem with many comments on MCD is the failure to understand that MCD is a value destination and not a quality destination. If you want to spend more you go to somebody who can spend more on ingredients, if you want a good, basic meal fast and cheap go to MCD.

    The problem in developing countries is getting the local workers to understand the need for quality and cleanliness which MCD used to attract customers for years in developed countries. Personal experience in Asian stores has been less than satisfactory with dirty restrooms and poor service..

    For long tern investors it is probably ok for present but for traders it is at the top of its range with far more down side than upside at $ 100
    Mar 3, 2015. 10:31 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Another Look At Seadrill's Balance Sheet [View article]
    Hindsight is 20/20 vision and only useful for learning about one's mistakes not for making silly judgements. The reality is that few expected the sudden drop in the oil price which is the real bugbear, once that depth was apparent the management took the only sensible course by conserving funds
    Mar 3, 2015. 06:03 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Another Reason Investors Should Not Buy Seadrill's Stock [View article]
    Buying back shares at this time would be the height of stupidity. No one knows how long the price of oil will be depressed and in those circumstances wasting company funds on buy-backs would be extremely foolish.

    The management has certainly been less than considerate of shareholder's opinions but its job is to manage the company in the best interests of all parties and with a sensible eye to the future. Personally I expect oil to rebound sooner rather than later but nevertheless it is much more intelligent to conserve funds and reduce debts rather than to try to speculate on the company share price.

    Speculation on the share price is our business not that of management in this environment.
    Mar 2, 2015. 10:24 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Seadrill's (SDRL) CEO Per Wullf on Q4 2014 Results - Earnings Call Transcript [View article]
    The dividend decision was poorly managed but was certainly the only sensible decision it was unfortunate that projections had been made which were not prudent in the circumstances of falling oil prices
    Feb 27, 2015. 01:32 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ignoring Solar Fundamentals: First Solar, Inc. [View article]
    The assumption that if oil is cheap then electricity will be cheap is simply absurd and to extend that to saying that there is a real connection between oil and solar is even more absurd.

    Solar is attractive for several practical reasons as well as being responsible about the future. It provides independence from an energy grid which is subject to attack by weather not to mention other natural and human problems. It is cheaper in most areas than grid power and it has positive effects on the environment.

    There is little use of oil in electricity generation which is mainly a transportation power source, equally there is little prospect of using solar for transport so the realtionship is minor at best.
    Feb 16, 2015. 02:28 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solar: Energy, But Not Oil [View article]
    A very sensible article.

    It is about time that people are pointing out that solar competes with grid electricity and not oil.

    While it is feasible to produce a solar powered car and many test or competition vehicles have already been produced the real competitive market is grid electricity.

    Solar has several advantages over grid power -

    Power independence.

    Cost - even now solar is becoming competitive and its costs are in free fall while the costs of grid power are continually rising.

    Lower environmental footprint, even after taking into account production and eventual disposal of panels and batteries.

    The present low interest rates makes the capital cost of installing panels much easier to finance and repay.

    The fact that the market is equating solar and oil simply proves that the market is not always right. It is only unfortunate that too many people are focusing on the green element and not the economic element of solar power.
    Feb 13, 2015. 10:21 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cook: Apple planning $850M solar farm, Apple Pay outperforming [View news story]
    The point that is being missed by all the pro and anti climate change posts is that this is a major game changer for FSLR.

    The arguments on climate change are a side issue, the reality is that solar is real and economic and a customer like AAPL can only lead to more business for FSLR going foward.

    Solar, like wind, is moving rapidly from the theory to the reality and Cook is only interested in the financial benefits of controlling his power costs. One can expect that many other major companies will stop listening to the noise and start crunching the numbers both on cost and on freedom from the grid.
    Feb 11, 2015. 02:57 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Oil Prices At $250 Per Barrel Vs. NATO's Geopolitical Issues [View article]
    The article is certainly long winded but the reality is that oil is more than a simple economic commodity, it has been used for geopolitical purposes many times in the past and it will be used many times in the future.

    There is no doubt that oil will reduce in importance in the future as environment realities limit its use but real economic alternatives other than natural gas are still in the future.

    For the present time it will remain a both economic and political force and anyone who believes that the present market is driven only by supply and demand should also continue believing in the tooth fairy
    Feb 5, 2015. 10:40 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Copper Makes A Move - Is Copper The Next Oil? [View article]
    Copper faces the same problems as oil and iron ore. Serious increases in capacity combined with a contracting market.

    Mines will be slow to close because the only cost figure that is relevant to closure is the marginal cost of production not the average cost. The marginal cost of production only takes into account the actual costs like wages, fuel, etc and does not include capital costs, overheads etc, thus that cost may be a fraction of the average cost. In these circumstances mines, or oil wells, continue to produce while there is at least some contribution to overheads and capital costs.
    Jan 13, 2015. 10:33 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Everything Has Changed: Oil, Saudi Arabia, And The End Of OPEC [View article]
    An interesting if rather amusing theory.

    We are yet to see any real action on global warming beyond hot air and meaningless promises but if we do the main attack will be on coal with oil or gas being used to replace coal in power generation.

    Yamani may well prove to be right but not during our lifetimes, for now we need to look at more realistic reasons for actions by the Saudis which may, more likely, lie in the futures markets.
    Jan 13, 2015. 10:09 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Deere & Company Is A Strong Buy [View article]
    The problem with DE is not the company or its past performance but the market it finds itself in.
    Jan 6, 2015. 09:39 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment