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  • On The Road To The Endgame: The Farcical Cliff [View article]

    You read a very balanced non political article and you could not refrain from stupid partisan commentary. I hope both Dems and Reps fall apart completely and if in fact Reps do fall apart so will Dems as they will have no reason to stay together. Likely outcome since almost 50% of the country did vote Rep last election is that it will be the same old thing and both parties have a vested interest in doing a deal no matter how lame it is and the market plows on as BB drives it forward with cheap money.
    Dec 3, 2012. 03:52 PM | 51 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Leveraged Buyout Of America [View article]
    Whoa let's take a deep breath and get back to reality from this yellow submarine trip.

    The most ridiculous quote in this article is "Small and medium-sized businesses are responsible for creating most of the jobs in the economy, and they are struggling today to get the credit they need to operate. That is one of many reasons that banking needs to be a public utility. Publicly-owned banks can direct credit where it is needed in the local economy"

    First we have had a "public utility" bank and in fact had more than one they were called Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Anyone like the results? And frankly the government already has a very large bank and it is you the taxpayer and every day they make "investments" on your behalf which are also called transfer payments along with "pork barrel" and "favors." Do you like how they are directing capital today based on your ability to pay taxes? Whatever problem you believe you have with private banks the thought of public banks is off the charts pathetic and horrifying. And laughable.

    Secondly small businesses have a hard time getting credit because about 20% go out of business in their first year and the majority go out of business before the 6th year of operation. Banks know the risk. They are not stupid. Neither is the government. SBA requirements are pretty tough and if one item is out of order the government does not want to pay off on any insurance claim. They don't want the losses either.

    I believe these two points make this article pretty much worthless.
    Aug 26, 2013. 11:55 PM | 27 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • President Obama says House Speaker Boehner has decided to walk away from debt limit negotiations. Earlier today, Boehner had suggested talks would continue.  [View news story]

    You apparently have been bitter a long time. You must have steam coming off your head. That was a heck of a rant. You forgot to blame the Reps for global warming, 911, Radical Islam, divorce rates, bastard children, road rage, Hurricaine Katrina, mortgage defaults, Blockbuster and Borders going out of business, hangnails and PMS.

    Madoff was likely a Dem which makes sense since he liked to take money from other people as he was pretending to help them and spend it on himself or give to his cronies.

    Come off the ledge big fella and take your meds.
    Jul 22, 2011. 08:49 PM | 25 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The 3 Most Dangerous Regions In The World [View article]
    Your comment "while there is great animosity towards the US for its coddling of an aggressive Israel" is the common bogeyman perpetuated by people who are either anti-Israel, anti Semitic or just frustrated with the complexity and backwardness of the Middle East and ready to accept any easy answer.

    Israel is easy to blame for a number of reasons not the least of which is because all the dictators, military dictatorships and religious dictatorships in the ME point to Israel as being the reason they cannot make progress in their own countries. And Israel helps shield them from questions about their performance and lack of democracy. Israel is the outside enemy that keeps them in power. These incompetent, greedy, power mongers need Israel to distract the people from their own government's performance and they use their power over the press to foster hate, spread conspiracy theories and lies. They need Israel but to observe western journalists and intellects fall for these perpetual lies and pathetic excuses and not focus the spotlight where it belongs is nauseating. Couple this with western government governments that call out the bogey man themselves to curry favor with various ME countries shows how low we have come. Obama is clueless and pathetic. It appears he really believes he knows what is going on in the Arab and Persian street but he appears to be totally naive rather than just a cynical politician. A few speeches does not move the needle in the ME.

    Meanwhile Israel is the only democracy in the ME which apparently is not something we appreciate that much in the USA any longer and they are more vibrant and forward looking than all of the other countries in the region. We support them but we also support other countries in the ME directly and indirectly but Israel is the only country in the ME that has threats of annihilation against it by other states in the region. That rhetoric alone is something we should not tolerate as words mean something. If we are looking for a better relationship among all the ME countries then we can start by looking at the rhetoric, the propaganda, political charters and threats.

    The Palestinians are a political football that keeps the conflict going. There is plenty of land in the Middle East and ridiculous amounts of money sloshing around but no country wants to really take them in because they don't necessarily like them and keeping them in place maintains the conflict with Israel. The Palestinians are a tool for other countries and dictators who say they care about them but don't really want them. They send them some economic aid but don't want to solve their problems. They want their support ongoing and want them agitated to action which cannot occur if they are a satisfied people.

    If history is the driver behind fairness in the Middle East than Israel is in the driver's seat on land not only in the current and traditional state of Israel but also all the other places they held land in the ME before being driven out by anti Semitic and religious bigots. Same holds true in parts of Europe and the diaspora where homes were taken from them during WWII but never returned.

    Frankly western journalists, governments and intellects are not honest and thorough in their views of the ME and they are scared to really dig and tell the big story because there is too much power, violence, fear and money behind the lies. And the dictators and religious zealots against Israel in the ME don't care about objective truth they just want power and in the case of the dreamers a caliphate.

    None of this will end until the dictatorships fall and all people in the ME have access to information not propaganda. Social media is playing a role in moving this forward.
    Aug 26, 2013. 01:12 AM | 24 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bill Gross's Dreadful Analysis Of The U.S. Economy's 'Wounded Heart' [View article]
    Making money on money is as old as money itself. I recall little old ladies coming to the bank with their Passbook Savings account registers and asking for them to be updated so they could see how much they were making. Gross is an aggregator of all those little old ladies so he is nothing new and making money on money will always go on.

    And you can make money on money look at the rise in the stock market.

    Your point about half the population living off the government is correct. The underlying problem is that work is not glorified, taking or stealing handouts is not shameful and the political machine is tied to those checks.
    Jun 11, 2013. 09:18 AM | 24 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Charlie Munger: Energy Independence Is Dumb [View article]
    Munger has a dire outlook for the world if he believes we need to keep our fossil fuels like the last energy store on the face of the earth and then survive the big freeze.

    He obviously does not think we can put together other energy sources in the long run. He comes off a little wacky.
    Jul 25, 2013. 11:44 PM | 23 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Matt Taibbi's latest strike in his war on "vampire squid" Goldman Sachs (GS): "If the Justice Department fails to give the American people a chance to judge this case - if Goldman skates without so much as a trial - it will confirm once and for all the embarrassing truth: that the law in America is subjective, and crime is defined not by what you did, but by who you are."  [View news story]
    I read the article which is the first time I read Rolling Stone in 30 years. I thought Rolling Stone came with a bong?

    Once you cut through all the hysterics and general anti bank, Wall Street and and anyone who made any money his beef is with a deal that John Paulson and ACA entered into which GS was the intermediary. This was the custom investment in which a lot of bad mortgages were dumped into an investment vehicle and Paulson went short and ACA went long. Paulson made a lot of money and ACA lost. Matt does not indicate if he would have a problem with this investment if Paulson would have lost and ACA would have won. He just believes GS setup a bad investment and should not have done it or something.

    Of course Matt does not know if ACA had offsetting positions elsewhere against this long position but so what pass the bong. Paulson's people and ACA's people met face to face to discuss the deal which is called Due Diligence and Matt would know nothing about but which is an opportunity for each party to ask the other party questions so they know what they are buying. If ACA sent the B team then that was their business decision.

    Matt thinks that GS lied about something because they made several statements about it which built one upon the other but at worse that is similair to our ever evolving description of the Bin Laden killing. Stuff happens and it is not easy to describe on the spur of the moment who did what. For example GS's second statement about the deal was that they lost money on it. Matt had a problem with that statement.

    In summary Matt is just looking to get press by mentioning GS and money and a lot of outrage. Hard to figure the outrage when this was a deal between two large companies who have tons of resources to take care of themselves.

    Next to this was a Britney Spears article. Go figure.
    May 11, 2011. 07:28 PM | 23 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 20 Signs The U.S. Economy Is Heading For Big Trouble In The Months Ahead [View article]
    Not much into the pissing contests between news organizations. IMO they all are terrible which is why people watch Jon Stewart and think they are actually learning something.

    However Fox does hire some pretty hot women so at least you got that going for you.
    Feb 21, 2013. 12:12 AM | 22 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • President Obama says House Speaker Boehner has decided to walk away from debt limit negotiations. Earlier today, Boehner had suggested talks would continue.  [View news story]
    Obama is good at press conferences. It is just everything between the press conferences that is a mess. He is good at covering his butt and especially with a press that has not caught up with his shake and bake style. The press might just as well not show up.
    Jul 22, 2011. 07:53 PM | 22 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bank Of America's Day Of Reckoning [View article]
    This reads like a prosecutors closing arguments with a lot of adjectives, charges and color not a dispassionate analysis which one would expect on an investment site.

    BofA bought CW at the behest of the government and they should have said "no" to that pig so if there is any regrets that is by far the largest. Don't buy troubled institutions.

    The net of all this is troubled institutions will need to be wound down by the government at even larger costs to the taxpayer in the future and mortgage capital will be more scarce.

    BofA can pay for their own sins in a fair and objective manner without all the unintelligent pitchfork crowd slobbering at the gates.
    Oct 28, 2013. 09:40 AM | 21 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Europe Playing a Game of Brinkmanship: Investors Should Limit Exposure [View article]
    Unfortunately people become serfs because they want somebody to take care of them. That service comes with a terrible price which is control of your life and freedom. If people are not willing to work for their freedom or fight for it then they don't value it and it will disappear piece by piece.

    The most overpaid people in our soceity are the people who are taking checks from the government and doing nothing. The elite class has encouraged them and used them to enable their own power. Money is part of it but power is everything. That % of the US is at all time highs hence the problem.
    May 29, 2011. 12:45 PM | 18 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Matt Taibbi's latest strike in his war on "vampire squid" Goldman Sachs (GS): "If the Justice Department fails to give the American people a chance to judge this case - if Goldman skates without so much as a trial - it will confirm once and for all the embarrassing truth: that the law in America is subjective, and crime is defined not by what you did, but by who you are."  [View news story]
    Reading his articles is an exercise in digging through the outrage, some f-bombs, calling people names and NO evidence of anything that he has found to support his claims. He mainly just rehashes congressional testimony, other articles and his view on it. I am sure Rolling Stone does not have much of a budget to actually do any investigative reporting.

    I don't care if GS is guilty or not but somebody needs to show up with some hard evidence and not outrage that GS shorted the market. And there are plenty of people in WDC that would like to hang them for something so if they had a solid case it would be impossible to keep it under wraps for long.

    The housing market was a screaming short just like US Treasuries are today. So now if people make money on shorting UST's are we going to get all up in arms? Everyone should short UST's it might be the most sure thing on Wall Street over the next several years.

    And all firms should be going long and short at the same time if they have any brains at all. They should be constantly managing their risk to acceptable levels. They hold offsetting positions because they are not always sure which way the market is going. Placing a big bet like GS did is a risk they took that the housing market could not go up any further. They were not the only party that believed that but they invested on that thesis. Other firms like Bear, Lehman and Merrill Lynch were in way too deep on the long side with no coverage. That was stupidity and that will kill any company.

    All the parties involved in these trades were companies. They all had billions of dollars and resources at their disposal to buy the best advice in the world and hire the right people. If they did not then that was a business decision.
    May 11, 2011. 11:19 PM | 18 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Matt Taibbi's latest strike in his war on "vampire squid" Goldman Sachs (GS): "If the Justice Department fails to give the American people a chance to judge this case - if Goldman skates without so much as a trial - it will confirm once and for all the embarrassing truth: that the law in America is subjective, and crime is defined not by what you did, but by who you are."  [View news story]

    Other firms survived too like Morgan Stanley and JPMC has a very large investment bank. They had nobody at the Treasury that was a former employee.

    Warren Buffett is not a charity. He made an investment in GS knowing that it was solid and he turned down other WS firms.
    May 12, 2011. 02:09 AM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Truth About the U.S. Housing Market [View article]

    I agree this is flawed. The author is looking at a relationship between liberal and restrictive land use and boom and bust cycles and trying to draw a relationship. The real estate market is not homogenous although we talk about it that way, which is a problem, and the points already made about Atlanta and Detroit not fitting that model are dead on. I also would state that because the real estate market is not homogenous it is very difficult to put together these tops down analysis.

    Anyways I have lived in a few cities and have built in more than one so here are my observations from the bottom up. Taking out the cities bound by geography land availability in large urban areas is driven primarily by large real estate developers and large home building companies. Nobody is interested in selling land to small home builders or families. These large companies will buy the land and materials as cheaply as possible and sell the end product for as much as possible. I have seen land used next to highways that was cheap and lumber and home specs that were poor quality. These homes were built to age badly and the value to drop. During the boom large national builders were making money hand over fist. Most if not all are public companies.

    As they were making a killing home affordability was becoming untethered from household income but rather than lower prices they kept them up or raised them and filled the affordability gap with subprime and ARM's and other risky lending products. This is a lethal combination.

    The neighborhoods were sold and filled with enough high risk borrowers that if anything went wrong the foreclosures would start and property values would fall. Many of the home buyers in these neighborhoods likely could not afford any home under normal circumstances and now they are leveraged up beyond their economic capabilities. Additionally any stable neighborhood next to these new neighborhoods had to compete selling their existing home against a brand new home which drove their price down and then when the foreclosures started their real estate took another leg down.

    National builders will only go to large populated areas to maximze their profit which is why we see problems predominantly on both coasts and in the Sun Belt. They cannot make money in small towns. There are other abuses or scenarios in the system but this is a very large one and perhaps the most damaging.
    Jan 6, 2011. 05:10 PM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It was Tim Geithner - always there when banking interests are to take precedence over citizens - who nixed an IMF plan to allow Ireland to impose haircuts on bank bondholders, writes Morgan Kelly, who says the current terms of the "rescue" are sure to lead to a catastrophic bankruptcy. "National survival requires that Ireland walk away from the bailout."  [View news story]
    Banks function as capital generating machines that drive capital into the marketplace which stimulates overall growth. If the return on capital is taken out of the banking sector through haircuts to bondholders or other means of profit extraction then the industry will pull back and the deflationary impact of this action could be catastrophic. Tim G recognizes that while it is tempting to hammer the banks it is like pounding on your juglar vein. Capital dries up and the economy grinds to a halt. This is also why Ben B is easing which is to make sure the banking industry does not collapse and become fully owned by the government. We came very close to this in 2008. I am not commenting on them personally but I recognize what they are looking at and trying to avoid.

    If banks fail and become owned by the government in a democracy that is a direct shift of all their assets and liabilities to the taxpayer. So the taxpayer borrows the money and defaults and the default is shifted to other taxpayers. No free lunch overall.

    My understanding of Ireland is that their real estate market fell and this is causing a lot of their problems. Whatever the case they are having a hard time working out of this problem and being a bit player in the EC they don't have a lot of flexibility. I cannot comment any further on their problem as I have not looked at it that deep. The USA is in a unique position that these other countries do not enjoy but we can end up in the same place some day.
    May 7, 2011. 12:00 PM | 16 Likes Like |Link to Comment