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  • A JPMorgan (JPM) customer explains why he uses payday loans, at 287% interest, over applying for a credit card: "Here, I feel respected. At J.P. Morgan, when I walk in, I feel very small, and not particularly important."  [View news story]
    Interesting how the focus is on the comment made by the lendee and there is no reference in the comments about the 287% interest rates charged by payday lenders.

    Besides the fact that those rates immediately bring to mind the alternative economy and "break your legs" folks - just because you have an office a suit and an LLC doesn't make it right - no one in the comments is concerned about just the fact that these payday guys are becoming more and more prevalent in the economy helping to reinforce the permanent underclass status of some of our fellow Americans.

    This isn't business this is predatory exploitation of the less informed.
    Dec 26, 2010. 06:18 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • GE's silence regarding the WTO case against China for illegal subsidies to wind turbine makers points to the reluctance of multinationals to pipe up when China flouts international trade laws. Concerns about China's behavior voiced by a handful of companies earlier this year are the exception, not the rule.  [View news story]
    US gov't and corps have bought the rhetoric hook line and sinker that China is the future. The corps are abandoning ship leaving the gov't to fight the good fight, but without corps sticking up for their own interests its a lost cause.
    Dec 25, 2010. 06:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Spain announces a $6B cut in subsidies to power plants using solar panels during the next three years, in what one analyst calls “a massive blow against the Spanish photovoltaic industry.” Yet there’s little reaction in the shares of top vendors of solar panel technology: FSLR +0.1%, SPWRA -0.4%.  [View news story]
    "Fossil Fuel Subsidies Are Twelve Times Renewables Support"
    Dec 23, 2010. 10:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Shares of electric car maker Tesla Motors (TSLA -7.1%) sink after Capstone Investments initiates coverage with a sell rating and a $22 price target. Capstone notes that Tesla has only sold 1,400 cars since 2008 and that demand for electric vehicles may not materialize as fast as some investors hope.  [View news story]
    The "Roadster" was never developed to be mass marketed. There is a lot of really uninformed commenting around this company.

    The strategy was and is, to start with a high end expensive vehicle where premiums are higher and could be used to help cover development costs, and as the tech matured and costs of production came down to slowly segway into more mass market vehicles. Their next product is intended to be a 4 door 4 passenger vehicle in the luxury end, at around $50,000.

    The intent was to generate interest and momentum in pure electrics and to create a cascade which would result in cheaper component prices. They have been arguably successful at their strategy to date and even though there is a gap in their production ability and the delivery of their next model, everything has so far gone to plan.

    It's easy to discount the value of what Tesla accomplished, but I'm a fan of its American ingenuity, American entrepreneurialism, at its best. I personally find it funny that the golden competitor, BYD, a big beneficiary of Buffett money, has neither developed competitive tech by any stretch nor has it delivered virtually any vehicles to the private market and continues to sputter into irrelevance (except for the massive subsidization by the central Chinese authority).
    Dec 23, 2010. 10:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Shares of electric car maker Tesla Motors (TSLA -7.1%) sink after Capstone Investments initiates coverage with a sell rating and a $22 price target. Capstone notes that Tesla has only sold 1,400 cars since 2008 and that demand for electric vehicles may not materialize as fast as some investors hope.  [View news story]
    Elon Musk is a really smart guy doing a lot of smart things. Tesla is not just about the 1,400 vehicles it has sold, but about patents, a head start on the EV market, and technology that it is already leasing and partnering with larger automakers to promote (Daimler, Toyota, etc).

    They've also secured serious gov't funding to "pull forward" their development of their next product, I like Tesla a lot.
    Dec 23, 2010. 03:18 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Homebuilders are taking a beating on today's new-home sales data, which fell short of already conservative expectations. Just how weak are sales? The seven lowest months on record have all been in the last seven months. TOL -3%. KBH -4.8%. DHI -2.9%. PHM -3%. LEN -3.9%. XHB -1%.  [View news story]
    New homes taking a whooping, no one pays full price anymore and labor costs are too high. Not the place to look for encouraging housing data. Still impressed with how well some of these guys have played the recession, like Toll and KB, but not bullish on them by a mile.
    Dec 23, 2010. 03:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • With regard to the "next economic boom" article, I suggest Mandel is woefully uninformed. He suggests it is either/or bioscience alt energy, and heavily promotes the idea it will be bioscience and is bearish ion alt energy.

    I suggest he take a closer look at both industries, the amount of capital pouring into alt energy right now, in particular from gov't programs, is enormous. Bioscience on the other hand will never be a silicon valley hotbed of innovation as the industry has cross patenting issues which are hard to overcome and which stifle innovation terribly.
    Dec 23, 2010. 03:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • He specifically addresses food and energy in the linked article; it's not a bad read, I wouldn't be so quick to jump to conclusions.
    Dec 23, 2010. 03:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EIA Natural Gas Inventory: -184 bcf vs. consensus of -181 bcf. Futures -0.9% to $4.11.  [View news story]
    Number is not that important on its own... look at trends...
    Dec 23, 2010. 02:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • While stocks may seem overdue for some short-term weakness, the market's ability to continue to forge higher is a "phenomenon that is characteristic of strong and sustainable uptrends," MKM Partners' Katie Stockton writes. A growing number of chart watchers say that an anticipated pullback should be viewed as a buying opportunity.  [View news story]
    Meanwhile Gold sits in the corner confused....
    Dec 23, 2010. 02:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Simon Johnson's opinion that the US will face a funding crisis is shared by many. A competing view says since the US creates its currency, treasury issuance is not a government finance operation, but simply a tool for influencing the money supply. The US is not reliant on China or anyone else to purchase its debt.  [View news story]
    Awesome there's a few of the "competing view" folks here on SA can't wait to see the debate!
    Dec 23, 2010. 12:54 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sales at Sears (SHLD) lag its major competitors, and many of the company’s 2,200 Sears and Kmart stores are run-down and in undesirable locations, according to a NYT profile. Many stores are in older malls, and Sears has invested much less in store improvements than Macy’s (M), Target (TGT), Wal-Mart (WMT) or J. C. Penney (JCP).  [View news story]
    Sears also suffers from an absolute lack of marketing and a busted organization.

    Recent call to Sears for service resulted in SIX transfers among customer service "departments" while they each tried to figure out who's responsibility it was.

    Sears is in dire need of better management. Their locations are not bad in my area though, and their products and prices are competitive. Their service...
    Dec 22, 2010. 11:15 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • For the 2nd day, the reality of Europe's debt crisis wins out over supportive statements from China (I, II). The euro gives up earlier gains to trade lower against the dollar and near a record low against the swissie. Bond spreads on the periphery continue to widen.  [View news story]
    China wants Euro high versus dollar so Europeans buy Chinese products, so they will "talk" up the Euro however they can, but markets seem to not be buying it....
    Dec 22, 2010. 11:12 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The impact of the tax compromise may not be as large as some believe, Dean Baker says, since the potential stimulus it brings to the economy has been greatly exaggerated. "The net stimulus for the economy from this package in 2011 will be in the range of $70B... not likely to provide a substantial boost to growth."  [View news story]
    Not sure I buy this - preliminarily looking through my own tax liabilities I can't say I'm not surprised as how large the difference is under the tax "stimulus".
    Dec 22, 2010. 11:10 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QE2 gets a less-than-impressive report card, as a survey of economists, traders and analysts suggests the bond purchases have been mostly ineffective at lowering interest rates or unemployment. QE2's one area of success: boosting stock and commodity prices.  [View news story]
    Higher commodities and interest rates are both an unfortunate consequence, as are fewer mortgages, but I think QE was stealth bank recapitalizing more than S&P pumping.
    Dec 22, 2010. 11:07 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment