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  • Commodity bull Josh Brown thinks the agriculture story is getting somewhat crowded. He notes a recent paean to the group, well done, but the kind of story that gets written close to tops. JJA +1.7%. CORN +2.0%. BAL +6.2%. JO +1.8%. SGG -1.1%. JJG +1.3%.   [View news story]
    eh?

    Did all the crops grow back? Were large acreages of land added to cultivation? Has the flood damage generated spontaneous overnight crop growth? Man that was fast....
    Feb 17, 2011. 12:54 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Social Security is beginning to pay out more than it takes in, but Robert Reich says there's an easy fix: Raise the ceiling on earnings that apply to the payroll tax. There’s no reason even to consider reducing Social Security benefits or raising the age of eligibility.   [View news story]
    Wow a lot of commenters appear not to have read the linked article...

    Here is the crux of it:

    "Remember, the Social Security payroll tax applies only to earnings up to a certain ceiling. (That ceiling is now $106,800.) The ceiling rises every year according to a formula roughly matching inflation.

    Back in 1983, the ceiling was set so the Social Security payroll tax would hit 90 percent of all wages covered by Social Security... Today, though, the Social Security payroll tax hits only about 84 percent of total income.

    It went from 90 percent to 84 percent because a larger and larger portion of total income has gone to the top. In 1983, the richest 1 percent of Americans got 11.6 percent of total income. Today the top 1 percent takes in more than 20 percent."
    Feb 17, 2011. 12:00 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • “What you have here is ... money printing,” says Cathal O’Leary of NCB describing a maneuver in which Irish banks issued €17B of bonds to themselves last month. These "own-used" bonds are then used as collateral to draw funds from the ECB. What's the ETF for gold again?   [View news story]
    I am laughing like crazy, this is hilarious, and oh-my-god underreported.

    I love the Irish.
    Feb 17, 2011. 11:50 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Farewell, Fannie (FNMA.OB) and Freddie (FMCC.OB)? Don't count on it. "Before [their] detractors clink champagne glasses, they should know that the administration’s plan... makes no decisions of real consequence," Bethany McLean writes. "You don’t have to be a cynic to conclude that Fannie and Freddie aren’t going anywhere."   [View news story]
    ...hah and I'm laughing more after reading the 6:15 news item and considering it the context of what I wrote above.

    Will the real criminals of the housing fiasco please stand up....
    Feb 16, 2011. 08:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Farewell, Fannie (FNMA.OB) and Freddie (FMCC.OB)? Don't count on it. "Before [their] detractors clink champagne glasses, they should know that the administration’s plan... makes no decisions of real consequence," Bethany McLean writes. "You don’t have to be a cynic to conclude that Fannie and Freddie aren’t going anywhere."   [View news story]
    Taking out fannie\freddie will likely make the tbtf banks bigger and crush lending in marginal and low pop areas. Will be interesting to watch how this plays out. The hilariousness of having a president the repubs describe as a lefty who continuously creates 'reform' which benefits the haves over the have-nots is a never-ending comedy.

    Ahhhh politics....

    Not that i dont think the mortgage and housing industries need more reform/regulation, just not sure freddie/fannie are the bad guys in this mess...
    Feb 16, 2011. 08:04 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wikileaks documents reveal a former Aramco exec believes Saudi oil reserves are inflated by 40%. The country is struggling to pump out even 10M barrels/day, well below its 12.5M target, and making the IEA's estimate of 14.6M in 2035 a hopeless pipe dream.   [View news story]
    you guys above me should read more SA posts on oil... there have been several recently explaining brent-wti which disagree with you, i will see if i can get the links -
    Feb 16, 2011. 07:42 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Google (GOOG +0.1%) unveils a new payment system for online paid content that will give newspaper and magazine publishers a significantly larger share of revenues than Apple's (AAPL +0.9%) rival service. Google's announcement comes just a day after Apple presented its own subscription service.   [View news story]
    eh? You're info on device data is a lot off...

    www.macrumors.com/2010.../
    Feb 16, 2011. 07:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Google (GOOG +0.1%) unveils a new payment system for online paid content that will give newspaper and magazine publishers a significantly larger share of revenues than Apple's (AAPL +0.9%) rival service. Google's announcement comes just a day after Apple presented its own subscription service.   [View news story]
    Battle of the margins...

    Google on 200 devices, Apple on 1, Google asks for 10% and Apple for 30%, hmmmm....
    Feb 16, 2011. 03:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Verizon Wireless (VZ, VOD) sales of the iPhone (AAPL) haven't met the partners' expectations so far, according to industry blogger the Boy Genius Report. Online pre-orders came to 550K units, and just 14% of buyers were owners of the AT&T (T) version. (via)   [View news story]
    The fact remains that AT&T runs on GSM, and if you do any kind of frequent travelling you end up on a GSM service.

    Borrowing or using a cheapie local prepaid variant when you are traveling just sucks. Especially in the age of ubiquitous smartphone wifi (I've been using a smartphone since before wifi was an option) where you can log into an open network and make voip calls right on your existing device....

    There's a dozen reasons why Verizon iPhone uptake wasn't what the fanfolks wanted it to be, but i'm sure it will still help revenues for Apple.
    Feb 16, 2011. 02:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Verizon Wireless (VZ, VOD) sales of the iPhone (AAPL) haven't met the partners' expectations so far, according to industry blogger the Boy Genius Report. Online pre-orders came to 550K units, and just 14% of buyers were owners of the AT&T (T) version. (via)   [View news story]
    or break contracts, or not wait till iphone5 this summer, or buy comparable or more powerful android devices
    Feb 16, 2011. 01:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Lockheed Martin (LMT) returns to civilian nuclear power with a deal to make control rooms for plants built by a joint venture between GE and Hitachi. The venture's new designs are liable to take hold first outside a slower U.S. market.   [View news story]
    Interesting; wonder if this has anything to do with Obama's nuclear money...
    Feb 16, 2011. 11:49 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Slowing labor force growth means the U.S. needs big productivity gains to a maintain rising living standards, a McKinsey report concludes. Without the productivity boost, the U.S. may be heading for decades of stagnation: At its historic annual rate of 1.7% and with projected labor force growth of just 0.5%, GDP growth would equal 2.2%/year - one-third below the 50-year average.   [View news story]
    Of course you're right, but it was a deeper analysis than I wanted to make, mostly because it involves politics.

    It will take policy change to move the economy into a higher gear and the political will - or ability - has yet to surface.
    Feb 16, 2011. 11:29 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Duncan Niederauer asserts that the merger of NYSE Euronext (NYX -2%) and Deutsche Boerse (DBOEY.PK) "isn’t a takeover," but Gary Weiss writes that "we've become minority owners of our own financial heritage," and in some ways deservedly so since "we lost our moral leadership in the financial world, if we ever had any, in the 2008 financial crisis."   [View news story]
    Minority owners of our own financial heritage? We deserve it, we put ourselves here, if we didn't it would be NYSE buying DB.

    Spilled milk, broken eggs, really not caring too much about this. Being emotional about your assets makes you lose money.
    Feb 16, 2011. 11:27 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • JPMorgan Chase (JPM +1.6%) is preparing an aggressive expansion in consumer and private banking over the next five years, CEO Jamie Dimon says, and "I’m not going into politics and I’m not opening a restaurant. I love what I do." The bank ranks as analysts' favorite Dow stock for 2011, receiving 28 buy ratings and five holds.   [View news story]
    I'm watching what Chase is doing and I definitely see them creating value, and, in particular, on the retail/lending side.

    They have a good strategy in place and the execution looks good so far too.
    Feb 16, 2011. 11:25 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Slowing labor force growth means the U.S. needs big productivity gains to a maintain rising living standards, a McKinsey report concludes. Without the productivity boost, the U.S. may be heading for decades of stagnation: At its historic annual rate of 1.7% and with projected labor force growth of just 0.5%, GDP growth would equal 2.2%/year - one-third below the 50-year average.   [View news story]
    Like I said in the Toyota news item, Japan continues to make fools and liars out of the charlatans who claim that exporting jobs is necessary in the age of cheap global labor.

    US faces the problem of having to reset its economy to a model not focused around housing, not focused around gov't employment, and not focused around entitlement programs which are unsustainable.
    Feb 16, 2011. 11:02 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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