Seeking Alpha


Send Message
View as an RSS Feed
View kmi's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest comments  |  Highest rated
  • Why Greece Matters ... To Everyone [View article]
    That's an image problem brought on by lack of clarity in the reporting of how Greece got where it is.

    It's not Greeks who created the problem, but a systemic corruption of the upper echelon of politico-elites who abused the currency and created an overextended bureaucracy with way too many public employees who were handsomely rewarded for voting and maintaining the status quo...

    A cycle which should have ended under the Euro but was maintained for a further decade via obfuscation and creative accounting.

    Greece actually has a highly educated, highly skilled, competent workforce but the size of the public service sector and the compensation for what little work was asked of them + guaranteed employment made entrepreneurialism and business investment seem a waste of time.

    Interestingly, dismantling this wasteful beast that led Greece to this eventuality is GREAT for the country, and IMF involvement is too (if it manages to annihilate the amazing excess and waste in the public sector).
    May 4, 2010. 10:36 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How PHEVs and EVs Will Sabotage America's Drive for Energy Independence [View article]
    Considering my wife drives less than 10 miles to work, my wife would never need to use gas if we had a Volt. How does the Prius compare favorably in that regard as per oil/fuel consumption? I don't understand the logic.

    Additionally, your whole premise is that we seem to be 'wasting' resources on developing PHEVs when we could be investing in HEVs? Since the batteries going into non-Priuses could be going into Priuses?

    Why not let the market determine this?

    Also your comment that the industry 'could' switch to entirely HEV in a decade... i believe Mercedes expects to be fully hybridized by 2015, and new CAFE standards will make a lot of companies follow suit.

    Also... batteries are not finite... almost every auto manufacturer has a battery production facility in the works... and lithium is far more ubiquitous than a lot of other commodities...

    One final point... most Americans didn't know what a Prius was before $4/gallon gas, and $4/gal gas has permanently changed American perceptions of what constitutes a viable commuter car. Regardless of Prius' 10 yr track record, it's maybe in the last 2 it ever interested anyone but the fringe. I also submit that Nissan has built pure EVs as long as 30 years ago, but the tech to do so and appeal to the mainstream didn't exist until recently.

    EVs are hardly a new phenomenon, but much like YouTube would not have succeeded in the mid 90s when most folks were on dialup, EVs didn't have much raison d'etre before pretty recently.

    I don't know seems like a lot of hyperbole and bluster in the post.
    Aug 26, 2009. 12:16 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel (INTC -1%) spikes lower on a Bloomberg report that Apple (AAPL +1.3%) is thinking of abandoning the use of Intel's CPUs within Macs in favor of internally-developed, ARM-based processors such as the ones that power its iOS hardware. Similar reports have been around for a while[View news story]
    Apple: back on the road to "proprietary everything" that caused it to fail the last time.

    It's pretty clear that intel hardware and Windows interoperability is one of the biggest momentum drivers its had. Abandoning that which is inevitable, will lead it to failure.
    Nov 5, 2012. 04:12 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is the U.S. better off than four years ago? When it comes to energy, Duke Energy (DUK) CEO Jim Rogers says yes: "Are we better off in terms of efficiency? We see per-home usage of electricity declining… We [have had] two license[s] for nuclear plants issued. We have abundant supply of natural gas at low prices... [In] the various ways to generate electricity, we’re better off today." [View news story]
    I've made this point before:

    Do you know what your computer consumed 10 years ago? Wattage wise.

    Or your TV. Or better yet, how any pre-2000 refrigerator, boiler or hot water heater compares to anything modern?

    What the average SEER rating of an a/c was 10 years ago? Or how much wattage it consumed?

    I'll help, since well, I am making a point and want to continue....

    It's less. In some cases, 50% r more less.

    Efficiency is a big part of declining US energy consumption.

    Another large part of the picture is growth in solar, in particular by corporates. Part of that was encouraged and initiated under the Bush administration and carried on under the Obama adminstration (federal, state, county and utility level tax breaks, reverse metering regulation, etc etc)

    I guess that doesn't necessarily prove standards of living have risen, but I'd say it doesn't indicate they've fallen either.
    Sep 4, 2012. 02:03 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More Americans now work for the government than in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining and utilities - combined. Stephen Moore: "We have moved decisively from a nation of makers to a nation of takers."  [View news story]
    "“We have now presided over the largest increase in the size of government since the Great Society,” said Sen. John McCain"

    About the 2000-2008 years.

    Sure let's compare it with 2008-2011, but do you really think its appropriate to cut out the expansion of the Bush era?
    Apr 1, 2011. 07:36 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • John Boehner takes the gavel from Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, but now it's time to govern, and Republicans are already forced to scale back plans for deep spending cuts. When House leaders said highway and mass-transit programs shouldn't be shielded from cuts, they immediately drew fire from states, the construction industry and the Chamber of Commerce.  [View news story]
    What is also true is that regardless of what they can or cannot do, they successfully manipulated the public into believing that they would do big things and it took a NY minute for them to say 'well hold on a minute..."

    What a disgrace.

    If they didn't know they couldn't make the cuts, then they are so incompetent as to be unworthy of office. If they did know they couldn't make the cuts, they are liars and crooks and also unworthy of office.
    Jan 5, 2011. 03:11 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • China Lights, Global Floods, Australian Coal [View article]
    I should point out that even though US energy consumption has been going down, it is also due in part to the export of manufacturing to the very emerging markets growing their consumption.

    the point being, let's not break our arms patting ourselves on our collective backs for our reductions when we may just have shifted our consumption.
    Jan 5, 2011. 03:07 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Net neutrality rules are hardly a "threat to freedom" - they're a toothless compromise crafted with the goal of winning the approval of corporate interests, Timothy Karr writes. Indeed, nearly all affected stocks rose today. ISPs and wireless carriers: CMCSA +1.5%, VZ +0.6%, T -0.2%, TWC +0.9%, S +0.9%. Content streamers: NFLX +4.6%, GOOG +1.3%, AMZN +0.8%.  [View news story]
    "Instead of a rule to protect Internet users' freedom to choose, the Commission has opened the door for broadband payola - letting phone and cable companies charge steep tolls to favor the content and services of a select group of corporate partners, relegating everyone else to the cyber-equivalent of a winding dirt road."

    It doesn't appear to be a net neutrality rule effectively at all.

    Another step backwards as the US favors the oligarchs. China becomes more US as US becomes more Chinese.
    Dec 21, 2010. 07:56 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The European emergency fund, billed as having the financial firepower to douse a financial crisis in the euro zone, may not have enough money to cover a bailout of Spain. If Spain needs a bailout, the fund "will be precarious and it won't leave anything for anybody else," a World Bank official says.  [View news story]
    Because if I owe you 100,000, I have a problem, but if I owe you 100,000,000, you have the problem.
    Nov 24, 2010. 06:29 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sure It’s Legal … But Is It Right? [View article]
    Part of the problem is we have a weak political system in the US, there is no "party line" like in most other representative democracies.

    Although it is good in that disparate areas of the country and more accurately represented the inability for a party to force its constituent members to vote around a party policy is problematic.

    This is why the lobby system is both so outrageously huge as well as disproportionately powerful - lobbyists can target members of the houses and encourage them not to follow the presidents policy.

    So any and all legislation handed down gets diluted and watered down and weakened so it's not what is was meant to be when it was conceived.

    Sure certain folks may have the political will to promote change, but good luck getting meaningful legislation through both houses even when your "party" controls both. Money talks and lobbyists have lots of it.
    Sep 2, 2009. 02:41 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Lower oil prices could provide $1T global stimulus [View news story]
    For one... 'millions' is an exaggeration... and for another the employment of one small sub-sector of the economy pales in the face of.... well the entire rest of the economy...
    Oct 18, 2014. 10:26 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Motors (TSLA +3.2%) CEO Elon Musk pushes for support in Texas on a bill which would allow electric vehicle manufacturers to sell cars directly to consumers. Though the automaker has won a few victories in other states, the battle against Texas auto dealers could be a bit tougher. [View news story]

    The wear and tear parts - brakes, shocks, wheels, etc - are not vehicle specific and should be available at any competent auto shop, the electric parts are far more easily and readily 'repairable' than a gas based vehicle.... no valvetrain you know.... crankshaft.... timing belt....

    I wonder what you are talking about, perhaps you could be more specific?
    Apr 10, 2013. 04:08 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • President Obama is likely to approve a GOP proposal to suspend the debt ceiling until May 19, which has the backing of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as well. The House is due to vote on the measure today, with the bill also requiring both chambers to pass budgets by April 15; if they don't members' salaries would be withheld. [View news story]
    Sorry to hear this market isn't working out for you, can I suggest you stop investing in "politics" and focus on market movement? It's working nicely for a lot of us.

    Good luck in your food lines.
    Jan 23, 2013. 09:49 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nokia: Is Now The Time To Cash In? [View article]
    "The upside potential depends on smartphone business traction"


    I'd suggest that -right now- it's Asha that's important and not much else, and that the smartphone business will take a while to find its legs, for a variety of reasons.

    Without getting into the smartphone part, my position is that Asha is the best featurephone product out there and is selling at a dumbphone price.

    In particular in markets like China, where mobile has become the primary communication format, because of the lack of landline infrastructure, this is a product that can easily appeal to anyone because of price.

    It's unlikely in rural areas, where people need phones as much as urban socialites do, folks are going to buy iPhones or fancy smartphones. But they do need a phone. And the Asha line for price and performance makes a lot of sense in many situations where landlines don't exist and smartphones are an extravagance.

    I think that's key. You get a lot of folks thinking that just because China or India have a billion 'potential' smartphone accounts, that smartphone penetration will reach the same % it has in the West, which I think is wishful thinking. On the other hand an $80 featurephone that does almost as much, while using data compression technology, may appeal to even the goatherder in the mountains.
    Jan 13, 2013. 07:54 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "I would like to have done better," says Nokia (NOK +0.2%) CEO Stephen Elop regarding the company's early Windows Phone (MSFT) sales: he thinks WP 7.5 didn't give Nokia enough room to stand out, and believes its marketing needed to be more effective. But Elop won't second-guess his decision to back WP instead of Android, a move that's increasingly questioned as Nokia's total smartphone sales plunge. He also claims to have "no indications" Microsoft is working on a smartphone, in spite of rumors. (HQ sale) (also[View news story]
    I don't know who it is calling the WindowPhone move a bad idea but that ship has sailed, it isd proven daily how good of an idea it was and with WP8 migrating to the NT kernal this is an earth moving event, and bodes bright things for the future of any company tied to the platform.

    Elop's assessment of Android was spot on, and in light of the 'two turkeys do not an eagle make' comment history ( , WindowsPhone was truly the best option. (The alternatives - or other 'turkeys' - being: Meego, Symbian, WebOS, Blackberry)
    Oct 3, 2012. 01:05 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment