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  • The 'Too Big To Jail' Red Herring: The Jamie Dimon Edition [View article]
    I would favor all CEO's having to defend themselves and pay for all legal costs and civil penalties out of their own pockets.
    Mar 18, 2013. 01:46 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Daily State Of The Markets: Looking For A Market Top Indicator? [View article]
    As I'm not a subscriber to II, is there a way to access this information without a fee?
    Mar 7, 2013. 08:58 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Many Mortgage REITs Have Been Decreasing Dividends, PennyMac Just Raised Its To 9% [View article]
    PennyMac is run by Countrywide execs, and making free money on the sweetheart deal with the FDIC that guaranteed 30% profit, even if the underlying was burned to the ground and sold for 0. Good while it lasts!
    Feb 28, 2013. 08:14 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bernanke Solidifies Gold Path To $2,000/Oz. [View article]
    Bernanke is presiding over an increasingly unconvinced inner circle. The early exit is likely to be by Ben, from the Fed.
    Feb 27, 2013. 07:23 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Short Note On Multi-Family Homebuilding [View article]
    In Florida's owner condo market we see: prices significantly under 2006 prices, high property taxes, high insurance, high HOA's. Purchase prices are still under pressure to compensate for the increases in carrying costs due to these secondary factors. Rents are ok but not robust....and finally Florida recorded a population decrease. The saying in Florida is that our market is great as long as our midwest snowbirds can sell their houses there to buy cheaper ones here....not as easy these days. Plus, seniors are under pressure from ZIRP. The average relocting to Florida senior had "$750,000 in the bank and would drive an hour and a half, for half a percent higher cd rate." Those were the days.
    Feb 27, 2013. 06:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 2 Interesting Consequences Of Low Interest Rates [View article]
    In our financial universe (barely or not quite "wealthy") the roller coaster since 1999 has resulted in an increase in the amount of cash held in reserve for living or emergency expenses. 5 years living expenses is recommended for my age bracket (10 years to retirement). Yes, this is cash hoarding, but essential to avoid having to cash out of risk investments in the case of another prolonged downturn. This money, for some percentage of us boomers, is not going back into risk for the balance of the lifetimes. And PS, our living parents with assets are not reaching for yield but resigned to living off the principal....their assets are also off the risk table.
    Feb 26, 2013. 09:49 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Daily State Of The Markets: 'Let Me Get This Straight' ... [View article]
    We can only hope that when the Fed takes away the QE punchbowl, it will be due to offsetting economic improvement. The other reasons for doing so, like the fed becoming uneasy about its balance sheet, might have a less symmetrical and nuanced result.
    Feb 22, 2013. 08:45 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cash Hoards On The Sidelines And The Great Rotation: Old Myths Meet A New Reality [View article]
    Thanks James, for an excellent article. I suppose one could think of any asset as being "on the sidelines," particularly in regard to whether the owner of the asset views it as a long term holding vs a temporary parking spot. Some portion of my stock portfolio is "on the sidelines" pending some future liquidation to cover retirement expenses. The question is whether there is an unsustainable preference (mal-investment?) for an asset class, whether stocks, tulips, or houses. Even if cash in the context of your article is not an "asset" per se, are there underlying reasons for wealth to be stored in transit (cash) longer, rather than being deployed immediately? The amount of "idle" cash preferred at the moment may have a purpose other than buying stocks....debt coverage, the demographics of the current elderly generation and the large upcoming one (enough cash to see them through), bond allocations liquidated but waiting, earmarked for anticipated higher rates, etc. Some of the preference for cash can be shown to be demographic and will not be redeployed in the lifetime of the holders.
    Feb 18, 2013. 07:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
    Michael: Always appreciate the wisdom in your writings. Could you please elaborate on this: " (I originally wrote "Gangman Style") "

    Feb 13, 2013. 06:21 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Robert Shiller: Don't Invest In Housing [View article]
    This path argues that housing is a durable necessity, a need I will never outlive. Owning rental housing provides an income stream that is theoretically "equal" to the expense of the personal housing need over time. Up or down market, my housing expenses are covered.

    With some investments, its not so much what you make, but what you can count on at any particular time.
    Feb 8, 2013. 07:17 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Robert Shiller: Don't Invest In Housing [View article]
    I have looked at real estate as a flow of income investment. If it doesn't cash flow, pass. For a residence, some use the difference between renting and owning....only buy if it provides savings over renting and if you will really save it. I didn't get rich in 15 years,, but I have 3 paid off properties and a reserve fund. That gives me a free place to live and two rental streams to cover other costs.
    Feb 8, 2013. 07:06 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Stocks Overpriced, Even With Fiscal Cliff Deal [View article]
    One problem with reducing entitlements is that the expenditure of those entitlements produce a large part of private corporate profits. Healthcare, retail (WalMart), multifamily housing all rely in large part on entitlements for their profit centers.
    Nov 30, 2012. 07:24 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Grand Bargain: Are Fiscal Spending Cuts And Revenue Increases Both Needed? Part 1 [View article]
    Dave Fry might have said it best:

    I would put this forward now: why don't we just go over the cliff, get it over with and let things get sorted out from the wreckage? It would be tough certainly, but we should've gone over the cliff by letting the banks fail in 2008-2009 putting it behind us.
    Nov 10, 2012. 08:56 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Grand Bargain: Are Fiscal Spending Cuts And Revenue Increases Both Needed? Part 1 [View article]
    Respectfully, 1. the looming "fiscal cliff" is the "grand bargain" crafted just a few short months ago (
    2. My part of the middle class is suspicious of "growth" as it has been defined in the recent past, and narrowly enjoyed. Stagnation is far preferable to more Greenspanesque bubbles and subprime growth, derivatives gone wild, etc.
    And finally, 3. the notion that the 1% pay all the taxes , if scrutinized, is aligned with the fact that much of that wealth flows lobbiest driven, straight from the government to our elite, lightly laundered and rinsed through a corporate account.
    Nov 10, 2012. 08:38 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Things Don't Matter Until They Do. But Then... [View instapost]
    Election over. Bernanke put enforcers get some well deserved vacation.
    Nov 9, 2012. 08:23 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment