Seeking Alpha


Send Message
View as an RSS Feed
View alpine's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • Does China Really Have 1,000 Tons Of Gold Locked Up In Shadow Financing Deals? [View article]
    Reƶ"Its something that central banks continue to buy", it would be prudent to keep in mind, how, of late, the central banks of several countries with "advanced economic knowledge, resources, and a healthy "manage the forex resources for the common good of its people" attitude have diversified away from the simple approach of holding just gold and FX reserves to an "active", blended portfolio of the above as well as massive investments in equities, bonds, hedge funds, as well as private equity.

    As examples, I beseech all gold bugs to look no further than review the published reports of the investments of the truly transparent central banks (or their proxies) of Norway, Switzerland, Singapore, and I do suspect, Israel.
    Apr 20 08:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel: My Take On The Earnings Report [View article]
    I keep thinking if Intel does get so far ahead of the race that the likes of TSMC, Samsung and GloFlo can never catch up, what do the horde of equipment (and process technology) suppliers like AMAT, ASML, KLAC, LRCX, Nikon, NVLS, TER and so, so many others go for repeat business.

    Somehow, it seems to me, the others will catch up, as otherwise, the govt could possibly step in to change the rules of the monopoly game?
    Apr 18 09:01 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel: Earnings Whisper And The Shenzhen Tablet Connection [View article]
    Such drivel is difficult to swallow, let alone stomach....
    Apr 15 08:57 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intuitive Surgical: The Growth Story That Wasn't [View article]
    I keep wondering, if, at the end of the day, there is a Luddite "dark cloud" being applied to ISRG. Perhaps, it is possible, just possible, that ISRG does have the "cutting" edge, but not the "bleeding" edge of tomorrow's surgical technology, as everyone desires:
    - rapid recovery;
    - shorter hospital stays, even if they can afford it;
    - talking about their 'hi-tech' surgical experience to their friends, relatives....wait till you hear someone talk about their "da Vinci" moment, and i am not talking about their encounter with "Mona Lisa" or the "Last Supper". The 2 guys who did, waste no time to tell you how "clean" it all was, and they could walk, etc;
    - putting their "fate" on minimal "invasion", as surely this is the "way to go".

    I could go on, but it seems to me that ISRG does have at least some keys to that magical kingdom when surgeries are robotiised, we have maximal privacy, we have minimal pain, minimal loss of blood, ultra-fast recovery, and best of all, a "story to tell our friends, because surgery meant that there were only probes into our bodies not knives".
    Apr 15 05:09 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • China Slowdown Will Trigger Black Swan Event [View article]
    As far as I know, Mr. Faber has likely pronounced stockmarket crashes, esp of the USA, and that too, of NASDAQ so often that he will of course, be as right as that proverbial broken clock on your wall.

    On the other hand, his credibility in picking stocks, esp the Far Eastern ones, and of the last 5 years, those from Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, stands him well ahead of the pack in the Barrons' Roundtable, year after year.

    So I say, listen to his stockpicks, not his market calls, except maybe, just maybe, this time?
    Apr 13 09:42 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • China Slowdown Will Trigger Black Swan Event [View article]
    Frankly, I find your comments rather 'difficult to stomach'. For most intelligent people in China, they would find your comments inappropriate and entirely inaccurate, as going by the law of large numbers, there would appear to be more underfed, undercared, "lost", desolate and entirely pitiable souls in the USA than in China.

    For the most part, whether before or after the disastrous Mao's Cultural Revolution, the Chinese people have displayed an amazing ability, everyday, to look after their basic needs: to feed themselves, to clothe themselves, to maintain excellent personal hygiene, to look after their children and generally speaking, maintain a level of self-respect in every imaginable and unimaginable (i.e. intangible) aspect of human existence. That sadly, in many states of the USA, is not the case is no longer in dispute. In USA's overbranded "exceptionalism" hype, it has actually forgotten, that China's social system, over centuries, actually seeks systems, processes and governments that provide for a 'good' solution for its larger population, and not a 'perfect' one, but limited to a more select few.

    In short, in the months to come, you will see China start to run, and the USA slow down its walk (and hopefully, its talk as well), as its underlying core is no longer, so so exceptional. The world knows it, but American politicians are still stuffing down the throats of their populace their misplaced belief in exceptionalsim, when the core is already quite feeble at its knees, if not downright weak, if not decaying in many parts.
    Apr 13 03:18 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • China Slowdown Will Trigger Black Swan Event [View article]
    If a Black Swan event were to occur, it would seem more logical for it to happen outside China than within it. As days go by, one sees more and more evidence of a whole horde of Chinese companies joining the mainstream of global competition and winning successfully. From the established names like Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo, to Haier, Geely, Brilliance, Tsingtao, CNOOC, Petrochina it would seem that they have managed to identify every growth opportunity there is in the world and they are already there to exploit it. In order to achieve this aim, they use flexible financing, pricing, business practices, govt influence, among so many others that Western companies simply cannot "get there".

    This does not include their capture of most low tech industries from textiles, motorbikes, marine equipment, etc. So, I would argue, it is more likely the BS event is lurking in the western backyard rather than China. On the contrary, China, with a highly depressed stockmarket, is likely to wake up from its slumber while highly bubbled Western markets might face the wrath during the rest of 2014.
    Apr 12 06:55 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intuitive Surgical: The Growth Story That Wasn't [View article]
    Thank you for a most insightful and thought provoking article, esp when it is from someone perched with intimate knowledge of the great history behind this stock.

    Prior to reading this article, my "faith" in this company's stock (in spite of its recent steep decline and much negativism, not only due to Company-specific, news, but also the general swoon on everything that was technology, growth, healthcare and Nasdaq-related, which unfortunately ISRG is) was pitched on:
    - 2 friends of mine who underwent prostate surgery with this equipment and 1 who went through the traditional method, and there was no question, which was superior in terms of relative pain, faster recovery, and general "cleanliness" surrounding the surgery;
    - my conviction that minimally invasive, computer-aided, robot-handled interventions are a given thing, given that the whole world "buys" into this as a natural trend in the future;
    - the tremendous growth opportunities outside the USA are not tapped yet, and as incomes and quality of life rise in these countries, they will embrace ISRG equipment in large numbers, esp as many young doctors qualify and wish to distinguish themselves from the established ones;
    - US market has been particularly hard for ISRG, as both market as well as legal factors, are either short term or 1 time factors, and their impacts will either abate or not exist in future quarters.

    There are so many other +ve factors one is tempted to think about, but it is clear your warnings sound very dire indeed.
    Apr 12 05:19 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intercept Pharmaceuticals (Part II): The Short Story Is Over, Time For The Long Story [View article]
    Very insightful article, esp since the stock price has dropped to pre-bubble levels. I agree NAFLD is a disease whose medical treatment is long overdue
    from the biotech industry.
    Does the author have a view on GALT's prospects, and if attractive, whether it too has an attractive stock price, as it could be a potential competitor to ICPT?
    Apr 11 03:03 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Should You Bet On Alcoa's Momentum? [View article]
    I feel AA's prospects are tethered to 2 strong, unbreakable "pulls":

    a) the Saudi JV which will become a showcase project for both AA and the Saudis, as it is the first time the latter party has come out to use its almost 0 cost energy sources to smelt Aluminium. Consequently, AA now has a strong response, worldwide, to compete with the best and the worst of low cost suppliers, including the likes of Rusal, Chinalco, etc;
    b) most of the industrial giants have come to rely on AA "Engineered" products to supply the growing need for low weight, low cost, low maintenance, composite "performance" materials in airframes, engines, trains, vehicles, medical equipment, etc etc. For all these requirements, AA, after years and years of painful and costly investment, is now, "war ready". Watch the next few years unfold.
    Finally, their "release" from being the permanent laggard of the Dow must be a major relief for KK and his coterie of mangers as well as suppliant directors.
    Apr 9 08:41 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How China Triumphed Over India, And Won The Battle As The World's Best And Biggest Emerging Market [View article]
    An 'in-your-face' way of answering which of the 2 equity markets are going to be better long term, in my view over the next 5 years, is simply to ask: which Games were better for the 5 senses, i,e, the eyes, ears, nose, touch, taste and I think Beijing Olympics came out streaks ahead of Delhi Commonwealth Games.

    That being so, one logically could conclude, that the consistently better executors, striving-for-uncomprom... perfection'istas', aggressiveness in being better, flexible ada(o)ptionists, etc etc will come from the Middle Kingdom.

    As Chinese stockmarkets have been in a funk for almost 7 years now, while the Indian stockmarkets are effervescing on the "Modi magic", I'm inclined to bet now on the tortoise rather than the hare.....unless of course, Mr. Modi turns out to be a Mao in 'sheep's clothing'......think about that, the Indians did thrive best during focused monarchies, dynasties, dictators.....and while Mr. Modi is a confirmed bachelor, he may well decide to change his mind. Stranger things have happened to Indian rulers, esp when they prove to be dictatorial, change-the-previous-or... disrespect the status quo. Just ask Sivaji or better still, the Mogols or dare I suggest, even the Brits! Sadly, this is going to be a 20-50 year we can't wait and watch.
    Apr 7 10:16 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron Earnings: The Next Day [View article]
    It almost seems as though MU was yet another casualty of a whole pool of stocks which have had significant upward alpha during the past 6 months or so, i.e from about Oct 2013. So, I suspect it will take a while, possibly at least until Q1 earnings are announced by major S&P 500 companies during most of this month, digested by all and sundry, and then perhaps a base would be formed during late April and May for a sustained, justified move upwards.

    Till then, it is best to watch the general global economy, be hopeful that there are no major shocks ahead, and who knows, sanity will prevail, as unlike 2000, most stocks have attractive growth prospects, reasonable valuations and there is a lot of fear and uncertainty in markets, worldwide.
    Apr 6 09:34 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Top investors press Allianz over Pimco [View news story]
    In some respects, the solution that should be actively considered is simply to replace Bill Gross with Mohamed El-Erian.
    Notwithstanding the latter's "poor" performance of late, it seems very clear that his IQ, EQ, and "always cool head" would prove extremely valuable for what PIMCO is going to have to go through in the months to come, as Ms. Yellen heads a Fed that is so so diffferent from the befuddling, "far too intellectual/elitist for its own good Fed", esp under Mr. AG and BB.
    Apr 4 08:11 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • China And High Yield: First Impressions Count [View article]
    Re:"It is also difficult to remain unbiased...", I find it difficult to be unbiased re: this entire article, as the author named at the head of the article is different from the one at the start of the article!

    When there is undeniably so much mystique about this loan default, etc, why add more spice which can be entirely avoided?
    Apr 2 08:36 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Yahoo: As Alibaba Goes Public, Value Of Underlying Business Will Begin To Shine [View article]
    Just as Search is what makes Google the "draw" for corporate and consumer users, Yahoo's standalone success will rise or fall with its Bing engine. At the moment, it almost seems that the only value Yahoo can attract is what it has outside its eco-system, ie Alibaba and Softbank/Yahoo Japan.
    Mar 31 02:39 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment