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samnicholls

samnicholls
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  • Larry Robbins' Bridge-Traffic Arbitrage [View article]
    And fewer cars use EZ Pass, which are the left lanes. That's analogous to electronic trading.
    Sep 25 11:16 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Unemployment Will Remain Elevated [View article]
    A very long term retrospective is necessary to get a handle on employment. GDP growth has been tightly correlated with leverage in the system. Leverage grew as interest rates declined from high levels in the early 80s. So jobs created were built on illusory growth. Who filled these jobs? Think of what's changed: the rise of the dual worker household and a huge wave of immigration. The dual worker household is the main culprit, this is something we didn't have prior to the 1980s. One result is pressure on real wages, which indeed have been stagnant (salaries rise, but price of goods rise faster because consumer spending rises). The rising popularity of the credit card was a bane too. Price inflation resulted from each household making more money, which led to their purchasing power being diminished because the neighbor next door also was making more. The result is that we now have dual worker households competing for too few jobs because the jobs created from illusory growth (debt fueled) no longer exist. Ideally, the US wants, for the betterment of the collective welfare, one worker per household, doesn't matter whether it's the wife or husband. Unfortunately an employer cannot single out households that really need the job and give them preference. Result- some households with dual workers doing fine, others have no one holding down a job. This is dreadful for the velocity of money.
    Sep 17 10:56 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sterling Construction's Problems Are All Short-Term [View article]
    State budgets are indeed a risk but not as much as is when we get a new highway bill. Their mainstay is Texas, which is doing fine. The main risk is congressional gridlock forestalling passage of a new highway bill. The backlog decline recently, note the lag effect, gives me pause to rush into this before the mid-term elections. Gridlock is a real possibility because Obama is not a negotiator like Reagan and Clinton, he is very stubborn, and he could dig his heels in the dirt for years. You have to bear these things in mind when considering any company reliant on legislation. However, the value investor in me is tempted right now, and any sign of hope on unemployment would have this stock move nicely despite the lack of a new highway bill.
    Sep 14 09:24 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • SIFCO: Is it Worth the Risk? [View article]
    LOL, a blast from the past, I was checking this out in 2006 when I was a sell side analyst and tried unsuccessfully to pique someone's interest in the company from a breakup standpoint, because they were (are still?) sitting on real estate (manufacturing facilities, warehouses) that was at the time (probably not so much now) valued seemingly well below book. Check out the properties in their filings.
    Sep 7 04:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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