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Wm the Shrubber

Wm the Shrubber
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  • On the hour: Dow -0.11%. 10-yr +0.27%. Euro -0.61% vs. dollar. Crude -1.73% to $92.48. Gold +0.33% to $1609.9. [View news story]
    Really? You might want to check your numbers!
    Apr 10 11:02 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Treasury Bull Market Is Over; Inflation Will Take Center Stage [View article]
    I'll take the under on this bet. My sense is that the deleveraging/deflationary dynamic will be with us for a long time to come as the overindebted state of the world has yet to be addressed. Policy makers will certainly fight this tide with inflationary tactics, but all risk-off phases will see retreats to the safe-haven status of treasuries. I will maintain my durations at short/mid, but I believe we will see 1% on the 10-year before the cycle makes a definitive turn.
    Jan 7 01:39 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • More on FOMC Minutes: It looks like the doves won the debate, says Fed-watcher David Jones, reckoning QE3 just got a lot more likely at the September 12-13 meeting. "Many members judged that additional monetary accommodation would likely be warranted fairly soon." [View news story]
    Except that data has been stronger than expected since the FOMC meeting, market is banging against yearly highs, Brent is back above $114/bbl, corn and soy are parabolic. Fed has no latitude for more QE here. It is just smoke and mirrors, hope and fantasy!
    Aug 22 02:22 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Alcoa (AA): Q1 EPS of $0.10 beats by $0.13. Revenue of $6.01B (flat Y/Y) beats by $240M. Shares +4% AH. (PR)  [View news story]
    AA is seen as a bellweather. These results notwithstanding, it is still hard to see how the macro climate can favor robust earnings for this quarter and/or looking ahead. It may simply be that expectations have been regeared so low that results can be spun positive even if generally poor.
    Apr 10 04:14 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nowhere is the inflation argument more relevant today than what we're seeing in the relative performance of the stock market versus gold. After several years of going up and down together, they've begun to diverge dramatically. Since February the April gold contract has dropped more than 7%, while the Dow has risen more than 2%. That's a big divergence, and an encouraging signal that fears of a deflationary collapse have finally faded.  [View news story]
    The deflationary collapse has simply been further postponed as the reflationary experiment continues to hold sway. Courting inflation is a dance with the devil. It will mask the true nature of the debt problem for awhile, but the devil always gets paid!
    Mar 20 10:27 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Banks Fairly Valued And Contributing To Market Strength [View article]
    I will not be persuaded that the financial sector is fairly valued until mark-to-market accounting rules are reinstated for banks' portfolios. The Fed's recent stress tests assumed carrying values are true values, and they further assumed no additional dilutions to those values in more adverse economic circumstances. Neither of these these things hold up to any level of scrutiny. Banks' capital positions are wholly subjective and values are pure speculation.
    Mar 20 02:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • All Of Europe's A Stage [View article]
    I have a great deal of respect for Cam's perspectives and analysis. I concur that the "Grand Plan" is the conceptual objective of the Eurocratic elite, but I also agree with the dissenters here that the practical abilty to implement that plan is highly questionable, at best. As an example, just look at Spain giving the EU the finger this past week regarding their own deficit projections. Political intransigence at the sovereign level will more likely lead to continued crisis conditions for the EU until such time as certain members exit leading to a restructured entity or the entire house of cards falls.
    Mar 11 11:37 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The financial services industry may be seeing massive job cuts, but leading brokerage houses are still aggressively recruiting brokers working for rivals. Merrill Lynch (BAC) is offering top brokers from rival firms upfront cash payments equal to 150% of the fees and commissions they generated over the prior 12 months, while UBS has raised its payment to 180%.  [View news story]
    Firms are resorting to buying business as there is no organic growth in the economy driving new wealth creation at present. The only way for a brokerage to grow is to steal away assets from other firms. It is a low volume, zero-sum gain trading environment, but ultimately there will be a survivors' bias as the industry continues to consolidate.
    Feb 21 10:14 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • "(We're in) less than the 1st inning" of the stock market rally, says Ron Baron. Stocks, he claims, coming off the "worst decade in the history of our country," are the cheapest in his lifetime. "Greece is the size of Delaware, the size of Delaware, this is what everyone is talking about," he says, shaking his head. Warning: the bulls are out in this video.  [View news story]
    The myopia of such perspectives and the cult like predisposition towards equities markets constantly amazes me. Never has the world been so engulfed in unsurmountable levels of debt. Greece is only the spark to flame for Euro wide contagion. Equities ultimately have to align with growth, and as long as we are toiling under a deleveraging/deflationary environment, growth will be hard to come by. The only rationale for equities at this juncture is a blind faith in the reflation trade accompanied by optimism that the central planners will execute flawlessly. Good luck with that!
    Feb 9 03:44 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The IMF approves the disbursement of €3.2B ($4.5B) to Greece under a joint bailout package with the European Union.  [View news story]
    And Greece will simply pass this disbursement on to the bankers and hedge funds, bailing them out and perptuating the ponzi. It is an utterly shameless thievery!
    Jul 8 07:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Rise of the Machines: In today’s exchanges, strong programs prey on weak ones, humans are hard to find, and the SEC struggles to keep up. If the majority of trades racing back and forth are now simply lines of code swapping with other lines of code, what exactly is this thing we call the financial market?  [View news story]
    "Markets" are essentially a tool of government economic policy. The manipulation of the markets benefits government agents in the execution of state directives.
    Jun 18 10:03 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Toll Brothers (TOL) is betting on a rebound. In the last four months, Toll says it has bought about 3,000 home sites, reflecting its strategy "of opportunistically securing challenging luxury sites to fuel the future growth of the company."  [View news story]
    This has all the markings of hail mary attempt to shape perceptions regardless of fundamental underpinnings. Talk your book and go down swinging!
    Mar 17 11:16 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Stock prices have room to rise further, and the likelihood of a double-dip has diminished, Abby Joseph Cohen tells CNBC. "The stock market is almost always a discounting mechanism that... moves in advance of the economy, but we don't think it has moved too far at this point," she says, expecting the S&P to hit 1250-1300 this year.  [View news story]
    Abby Cohen on CNBC talking up the market. This is news? Same song, different verse. Whenever she gets trotted out, I start thinking about going short.
    Mar 9 01:52 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Now the good jobs news: Tax withholding may be turning a corner - and you gotta have a job to have taxes withheld from it. And that number doesn't get revised.  [View news story]
    This makes no sense whatsoever. With U-6 unemployment at 17%, official unemployment at 9.8% (and this down from 10.2% only due to people dropping out of the work force), and new unemployment claims proving sticky over 400,000, what would be driving improved withholding receipts? It could be year-end bonuses including the banksters’ egregious, self-lauditory bonuses providing a one-time pop, but otherwise I don’t see anything on the employment landscape that looks positive.
    Feb 22 08:00 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Goldman Sachs: 5 Trends That Will Result in a Weak Recovery [View article]
    While GS certainly has a history of talking their book, I still have a hard time with the market call. Kostin is calling for $76 S&P earnings this year and $90 earnings in 2011. It is hard to see how these earnings will be realized in the economic scenario envisioned by Hatzius. You can only cut your way to profitablity so far. Further, multiple expansion is unlikely given prospects for rising taxes, incipient inflation, increased regulation, and anemic overall growth. Consider that GS may simply be drawing people in so that they can trade ahead and profit.
    Feb 15 10:32 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment