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  • The Greatest Danger For Stock Investors Today [View article]
    SanDiego,
    "Those pleas fell on deaf ears."
    Indeed, I never understood why there wasn't a broader cooperation between those two powers. It probably has something to do with privileges of the 0.01%.

    "I think what you mean is it's hard to forecast. Am I right?"
    Actually, what I meant was that it is incredibly hard for a Central Banker to predict how MUCH QE will be needed to mend the poor economy.
    Ask Carney of the BoE. He's well positioned to tell you all about it since he manages a currency that can hardly still be considered as a reference currency. The measures he takes have double effect whereas the USD is like the Titanic: it takes ages before any move of the rudder (=QE) translates into a change of direction (inflation/deflation).
    That probably gives you the impression that "But I don't think an absolute forecast is required. As with an aircraft or car, one can adjust as one goes..."
    Try a racing car (BoE), you'll be surprised, if ever you get the time to get surprised.
    Mar 25 07:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Greatest Danger For Stock Investors Today [View article]
    Brian,
    You're right.
    And current US diplomacy won't be a cure:
    Subject: Russian Oil Seen Heading East Not West in Crimea Spat


    > March 25 (Bloomberg) -- The Crimean crisis is poised to reshape the
    > politics of oil by accelerating Russia’s drive to send more barrels to
    > China, leaving Europe with pricier imports and boosting U.S. dependence on
    > fuel from the Middle East.
    >
    > China already has agreed to buy more than $350 billion of Russian crude in
    > coming years from the government of President Vladimir Putin. The ties are
    > likely to deepen as the U.S. and Europe levy sanctions against Russia as
    > punishment for the invasion of Ukraine.
    >
    > Such shifts will be hard to overcome. Europe, which gets about 30 percent
    > of its natural gas from Russia, has few viable immediate alternatives. The
    > U.S., even after the shale boom, must import 40 percent of its crude oil,
    > 10.6 million barrels a day that leaves the country vulnerable to global
    > markets.
    >
    > The alternatives to Russia also carry significant financial, environmental
    > and geological challenges. Canada’s oil sands pollute more than most
    > traditional alternatives, while Poland’s promising shale fields have yet
    > to be unlocked. The biggest oil finds of the past decade are trapped under
    > the miles-deep waters offshore Brazil and West Africa.
    >
    > “You’re going to see the Russians go out and try to sell and you’re going
    > to see the Asian buyers drive hard bargains with Russia,” said Philip
    > Verleger, an energy economist at PKVerleger LLC in Carbondale, Colorado,
    > suggesting European countries will feel the most pain in the form of
    > higher gas prices as they struggle to reduce their dependence on Russia.
    >
    > China’s Stance
    >
    > As world leaders gathered in The Hague to discuss nuclear security issues,
    > U.S. President Barack Obama sought to encourage Chinese criticism of
    > Russia on Ukraine. Chinese President Xi Jinping in turn pressed Obama
    > about a reported U.S. breach of the servers of China’s largest
    > phone-equipment maker.
    >
    > China has always held a “just and objective attitude” toward the Ukraine
    > crisis, Xi said in the meeting with Obama, according to a report yesterday
    > from China’s official Xinhua news agency. The world’s biggest energy user,
    > China abstained from the United Nations Security Council resolution that
    > declared the Crimean succession referendum illegal. Russia vetoed it.
    >
    > China imported a record amount of Russian crude last month, 2.72 million
    > metric tons, about a supertanker full every three days. The total more
    > than tripled in a decade, and Russia now represents 12 percent of China’s
    > crude imports, customs data show, among the highest levels in the past
    > seven years.
    >
    > Long-Term Objective
    >
    > “It’s always been assumed Russia reorienting its shipments toward China
    > would be a long-term objective; originally it was considered something of
    > a leverage point for Russia,” said Robert Kahn, a senior fellow at the
    > Council on Foreign Relations in Washington. “Now people may see it as a
    > reaction to the possible loss of a European market.”
    >
    > As the world’s largest oil producer, Russia exported about $160 billion
    > worth of crude, fuels and gas-based industrial feedstock to Europe and the
    > U.S. in 2012, according to the International Trade Centre’s Trade Map,
    > which is sponsored by the World Trade Organization and the United Nations.
    >
    > European members of the Paris-based International Energy Agency imported
    > 32 percent of their raw crude oil, fuels and gas-based chemical feedstock
    > from Russia in 2012.
    >
    > Asian Volumes
    >
    > Europe will face higher gas prices if Russia successfully curtails
    > pipeline supplies and diverts volumes to Asia, as more expensive shipments
    > of the heating- and power-plant fuel arrive by tanker at European ports,
    > said Peter Morici, an economist and professor at the University of
    > Maryland. The U.S. will turn to the Middle East to replace any barrels it
    > loses from Russia, he said.
    >
    > The U.S. imported 167.5 million barrels of crude oil and petroleum
    > products from Russia in 2013, 4.1 percent less than a year earlier and 25
    > percent lower than in 2010, according to the U.S. Energy Information
    > Administration. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries supplied
    > 45 percent of the total 7.7 million barrels a day of crude oil imports
    > last year, according to the data.
    >
    > Russia faces its own challenges reducing its dependence on energy exports
    > to Europe and the U.S., including a shortage of pipelines to Asia, Kahn
    > said. In its pivot toward China, Russia is competing with energy suppliers
    > from the Middle East and West Africa who also are targeting Asian buyers
    > as the U.S. meets a rising portion of its oil and gas needs with North
    > American production.
    >
    > ‘Driver’s Seat’
    >
    > “The Asian buyers are in the driver’s seat,” Verleger said.
    >
    > European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels agreed March 17 to
    > freeze assets and put visa travel bans on 10 Russian politicians, three
    > military leaders, including Black Sea Fleet Commander Aleksandr Vitko, and
    > eight Crimean politicians. The sanctions are the broadest used on Russia
    > since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union.
    >
    > Chinese President Xi visited Moscow on his first state tour in March last
    > year, gaining a share of Russia’s prized Arctic exploration licenses.
    > Russia also agreed to double oil sales and build a pipeline to export
    > natural gas to China and draw a $2 billion loan from the nation’s lenders.
    >
    > “China has invested in Russian oil companies and advanced loans to build
    > infrastructure, and that’s a big statement,” said Nicholas Redman,
    > London-based senior fellow for geopolitical risk and economic security at
    > the International Institute of Strategic Studies. “Decisions have already
    > been taken in Russia that far too much infrastructure has already been
    > locked into European markets and it is highly desirable to diversify.”
    >
    > Visa Ban
    >
    > The U.S. has already imposed a visa ban on some individuals, whom it hasn’t
    > identified, and President Obama has authorized the imposition of financial
    > sanctions against Russia. The U.S. expanded sanctions March 20 to include
    > businessmen linked to Putin, such as billionaires Gennady Timchenko and
    > Arkady Rotenberg.
    >
    > The diplomatic standoff is fueling a push in Congress to remove
    > restrictions on exporting U.S. oil and gas to put further pressure on
    > Putin. Three congressional committees are holding hearings this week on
    > whether the U.S. should sell more of its growing oil and gas resources
    > overseas, in part to weaken European dependence on Russian oil and gas.
    >
    > In November, the U.S. and the EU used sanctions against Iran to force it
    > into negotiations over the Islamic republic’s nuclear program. While
    > almost all U.S. trade with Iran was banned after the Islamic Revolution,
    > the West started imposing stricter penalties on energy, ports, insurance,
    > shipping, banking and other transactions in 2010.
    >
    > Iran Sanctions
    >
    > U.S. restrictions also apply to other countries that trade with Iran.
    > Limited relief was granted after Iran signed a temporary accord in
    > November, though core oil and banking restrictions were maintained.
    >
    > China National Petroleum Corp. last year paid the first $20 billion
    > advance of an estimated $70 billion prepayment to OAO Rosneft. The payment
    > was part of a $270 billion, 25-year oil supply agreement, which would make
    > China Russia’s biggest market for its oil. In October, Rosneft also agreed
    > to an $85 billion, 10-year deal with China Petrochemical Corp.
    >
    > Under agreements signed in March 2013, China may double oil imports from
    > Rosneft to more than 620,000 barrels a day, challenging Germany as the
    > biggest buyer of Russian crude. In return, Rosneft allowed CNPC to join it
    > in exploring three offshore Arctic areas for oil, the first such deal
    > Russia has signed with an Asian company. The ocean north of Russia is
    > considered one of the world’s largest unexplored oil provinces.
    >
    > ‘Economic Connection’
    >
    > “Everyone knows there is a strong economic connection in place between
    > China and Russia,” said Raj Kothari, a London-based fixed-income trader
    > dealing in emerging market assets at Sun Global Investment Ltd. “That’ll
    > play out over the years.”
    >
    > Chinese energy companies have scoured the world for access to reserves and
    > supplies to meet growing demand at home. Companies have announced more
    > than $130 billion of acquisitions overseas in the past five years,
    > according to data compiled by Bloomberg. State-run banks have given loans
    > to nations including Venezuela and some in Africa for oil supplies.
    >
    > “For Russia, there was an idea that Europe was something close by and it
    > worked and it was desirable to emulate,” Redman said. “Over the years, on
    > multiple fronts the attractions of the European model fell. It’s almost a
    > civilizational choice the Russians have made to turn away from Europe, to
    > stress their Eurasian rather than their European identity.”
    Mar 25 07:22 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Things You Probably Don't Understand About Russia's Agenda And Why You Need To Understand Them [View article]
    Subject: Russian Oil Seen Heading East Not West in Crimea Spat


    > March 25 (Bloomberg) -- The Crimean crisis is poised to reshape the
    > politics of oil by accelerating Russia’s drive to send more barrels to
    > China, leaving Europe with pricier imports and boosting U.S. dependence on
    > fuel from the Middle East.
    >
    > China already has agreed to buy more than $350 billion of Russian crude in
    > coming years from the government of President Vladimir Putin. The ties are
    > likely to deepen as the U.S. and Europe levy sanctions against Russia as
    > punishment for the invasion of Ukraine.
    >
    > Such shifts will be hard to overcome. Europe, which gets about 30 percent
    > of its natural gas from Russia, has few viable immediate alternatives. The
    > U.S., even after the shale boom, must import 40 percent of its crude oil,
    > 10.6 million barrels a day that leaves the country vulnerable to global
    > markets.
    >
    > The alternatives to Russia also carry significant financial, environmental
    > and geological challenges. Canada’s oil sands pollute more than most
    > traditional alternatives, while Poland’s promising shale fields have yet
    > to be unlocked. The biggest oil finds of the past decade are trapped under
    > the miles-deep waters offshore Brazil and West Africa.
    >
    > “You’re going to see the Russians go out and try to sell and you’re going
    > to see the Asian buyers drive hard bargains with Russia,” said Philip
    > Verleger, an energy economist at PKVerleger LLC in Carbondale, Colorado,
    > suggesting European countries will feel the most pain in the form of
    > higher gas prices as they struggle to reduce their dependence on Russia.
    >
    > China’s Stance
    >
    > As world leaders gathered in The Hague to discuss nuclear security issues,
    > U.S. President Barack Obama sought to encourage Chinese criticism of
    > Russia on Ukraine. Chinese President Xi Jinping in turn pressed Obama
    > about a reported U.S. breach of the servers of China’s largest
    > phone-equipment maker.
    >
    > China has always held a “just and objective attitude” toward the Ukraine
    > crisis, Xi said in the meeting with Obama, according to a report yesterday
    > from China’s official Xinhua news agency. The world’s biggest energy user,
    > China abstained from the United Nations Security Council resolution that
    > declared the Crimean succession referendum illegal. Russia vetoed it.
    >
    > China imported a record amount of Russian crude last month, 2.72 million
    > metric tons, about a supertanker full every three days. The total more
    > than tripled in a decade, and Russia now represents 12 percent of China’s
    > crude imports, customs data show, among the highest levels in the past
    > seven years.
    >
    > Long-Term Objective
    >
    > “It’s always been assumed Russia reorienting its shipments toward China
    > would be a long-term objective; originally it was considered something of
    > a leverage point for Russia,” said Robert Kahn, a senior fellow at the
    > Council on Foreign Relations in Washington. “Now people may see it as a
    > reaction to the possible loss of a European market.”
    >
    > As the world’s largest oil producer, Russia exported about $160 billion
    > worth of crude, fuels and gas-based industrial feedstock to Europe and the
    > U.S. in 2012, according to the International Trade Centre’s Trade Map,
    > which is sponsored by the World Trade Organization and the United Nations.
    >
    > European members of the Paris-based International Energy Agency imported
    > 32 percent of their raw crude oil, fuels and gas-based chemical feedstock
    > from Russia in 2012.
    >
    > Asian Volumes
    >
    > Europe will face higher gas prices if Russia successfully curtails
    > pipeline supplies and diverts volumes to Asia, as more expensive shipments
    > of the heating- and power-plant fuel arrive by tanker at European ports,
    > said Peter Morici, an economist and professor at the University of
    > Maryland. The U.S. will turn to the Middle East to replace any barrels it
    > loses from Russia, he said.
    >
    > The U.S. imported 167.5 million barrels of crude oil and petroleum
    > products from Russia in 2013, 4.1 percent less than a year earlier and 25
    > percent lower than in 2010, according to the U.S. Energy Information
    > Administration. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries supplied
    > 45 percent of the total 7.7 million barrels a day of crude oil imports
    > last year, according to the data.
    >
    > Russia faces its own challenges reducing its dependence on energy exports
    > to Europe and the U.S., including a shortage of pipelines to Asia, Kahn
    > said. In its pivot toward China, Russia is competing with energy suppliers
    > from the Middle East and West Africa who also are targeting Asian buyers
    > as the U.S. meets a rising portion of its oil and gas needs with North
    > American production.
    >
    > ‘Driver’s Seat’
    >
    > “The Asian buyers are in the driver’s seat,” Verleger said.
    >
    > European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels agreed March 17 to
    > freeze assets and put visa travel bans on 10 Russian politicians, three
    > military leaders, including Black Sea Fleet Commander Aleksandr Vitko, and
    > eight Crimean politicians. The sanctions are the broadest used on Russia
    > since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union.
    >
    > Chinese President Xi visited Moscow on his first state tour in March last
    > year, gaining a share of Russia’s prized Arctic exploration licenses.
    > Russia also agreed to double oil sales and build a pipeline to export
    > natural gas to China and draw a $2 billion loan from the nation’s lenders.
    >
    > “China has invested in Russian oil companies and advanced loans to build
    > infrastructure, and that’s a big statement,” said Nicholas Redman,
    > London-based senior fellow for geopolitical risk and economic security at
    > the International Institute of Strategic Studies. “Decisions have already
    > been taken in Russia that far too much infrastructure has already been
    > locked into European markets and it is highly desirable to diversify.”
    >
    > Visa Ban
    >
    > The U.S. has already imposed a visa ban on some individuals, whom it hasn’t
    > identified, and President Obama has authorized the imposition of financial
    > sanctions against Russia. The U.S. expanded sanctions March 20 to include
    > businessmen linked to Putin, such as billionaires Gennady Timchenko and
    > Arkady Rotenberg.
    >
    > The diplomatic standoff is fueling a push in Congress to remove
    > restrictions on exporting U.S. oil and gas to put further pressure on
    > Putin. Three congressional committees are holding hearings this week on
    > whether the U.S. should sell more of its growing oil and gas resources
    > overseas, in part to weaken European dependence on Russian oil and gas.
    >
    > In November, the U.S. and the EU used sanctions against Iran to force it
    > into negotiations over the Islamic republic’s nuclear program. While
    > almost all U.S. trade with Iran was banned after the Islamic Revolution,
    > the West started imposing stricter penalties on energy, ports, insurance,
    > shipping, banking and other transactions in 2010.
    >
    > Iran Sanctions
    >
    > U.S. restrictions also apply to other countries that trade with Iran.
    > Limited relief was granted after Iran signed a temporary accord in
    > November, though core oil and banking restrictions were maintained.
    >
    > China National Petroleum Corp. last year paid the first $20 billion
    > advance of an estimated $70 billion prepayment to OAO Rosneft. The payment
    > was part of a $270 billion, 25-year oil supply agreement, which would make
    > China Russia’s biggest market for its oil. In October, Rosneft also agreed
    > to an $85 billion, 10-year deal with China Petrochemical Corp.
    >
    > Under agreements signed in March 2013, China may double oil imports from
    > Rosneft to more than 620,000 barrels a day, challenging Germany as the
    > biggest buyer of Russian crude. In return, Rosneft allowed CNPC to join it
    > in exploring three offshore Arctic areas for oil, the first such deal
    > Russia has signed with an Asian company. The ocean north of Russia is
    > considered one of the world’s largest unexplored oil provinces.
    >
    > ‘Economic Connection’
    >
    > “Everyone knows there is a strong economic connection in place between
    > China and Russia,” said Raj Kothari, a London-based fixed-income trader
    > dealing in emerging market assets at Sun Global Investment Ltd. “That’ll
    > play out over the years.”
    >
    > Chinese energy companies have scoured the world for access to reserves and
    > supplies to meet growing demand at home. Companies have announced more
    > than $130 billion of acquisitions overseas in the past five years,
    > according to data compiled by Bloomberg. State-run banks have given loans
    > to nations including Venezuela and some in Africa for oil supplies.
    >
    > “For Russia, there was an idea that Europe was something close by and it
    > worked and it was desirable to emulate,” Redman said. “Over the years, on
    > multiple fronts the attractions of the European model fell. It’s almost a
    > civilizational choice the Russians have made to turn away from Europe, to
    > stress their Eurasian rather than their European identity.”
    Mar 25 07:19 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Greatest Danger For Stock Investors Today [View article]
    South,
    1981-1999 were my best years as an investor with several yoy gains of over 50%, mainly thanks to buyouts, mergers and acquisitions. And of course, as you mentioned, the dividends were high.

    "a long term secular bull market in stocks"
    I cannot say I should have much reason to disagree on that. There's an overwhelming evidence of all sorts of new promising technologies that await us.
    But that doesn't refrain me from taking profit from time to time when I see a ST cyclical bear coming near.
    Mar 24 08:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Greatest Danger For Stock Investors Today [View article]
    South,
    Nestle got some battering lately from the recent poor EM news.
    For fiscal reasons I own it through the holding Sofina and I stick to it whatever happens.
    It's an excellent company and Paul is an excellent CEO, I can tell you that.
    So occasionally, you do trade ?

    I never had (NVS) but I guess every major pharma company should be good due to global aging.
    I never had Zürich Insurance either and so I can't say much about it.

    I recall you mentioned Unilever before when we had our previous chat about your nephew and Nashville. An uncle of mine was head of the legal department but he retired. I'd prefer Nestlé to Unilever though. I think they have better products.

    I consider Belgacom as a potential turnaround. Former CEO Didier Bellens who was a pain in the company's a** has left and has been replaced by female Dominique Leroy. She's planning to restructure and reorganize the company (lower wages). I bought quite a bit of shares at an average of €19.5. They're at 22.35 now but I expect the price to keep on rising.
    The former CEO had the habit of paying large dividends to please the government (Belgian government owns 50% of the shares) even if this implied making debt.
    That was insane and Leroy announced she would after this year stop the high dividend policy and invest in the company's technology instead.
    Beware though: Telenet is a harsh competitor in a small market.
    Mar 24 08:39 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • India Set To Import Twice As Much Gold [View article]
    doctor,
    Neither can I, but let's do what the Chinese do: profit and buy at the dips.
    Mar 24 08:04 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Gold bears find their voice again [View news story]
    GS and gold, never good friends.
    I still bear in mind what happened to super gold shorter Bear Sterns in 2008.
    Mar 24 04:20 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Greatest Danger For Stock Investors Today [View article]
    Strike,
    "But maybe he meant to write that a correction is "eminently imminent"."
    LOL !
    Joliment vraisemblable !
    Mar 24 04:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Greatest Danger For Stock Investors Today [View article]
    San Diego,
    "The fed can hold, buy, or sell."
    Yes, but it's the quantities that matter.
    It's the quantity that makes the tuning hard to master.

    "Another consideration is that it's usually fiscal policy that boosts the economy, not monetary policy."
    I can agree on that, but why are they (the Fed) making such a fuss about that QE-thing then ?
    Not to mention the rates ?

    "Our deficit and low tax structure on entering the meltdown restricted fiscal policy options."
    That is true, but the question remains whether the current US economy is strong enough to change that fiscal policy in -say- 5 years ?
    Mar 24 04:12 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Greatest Danger For Stock Investors Today [View article]
    south,
    An optimist is an ill informed pessimist.
    Mar 24 04:02 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Greatest Danger For Stock Investors Today [View article]
    south,
    "An increase in rates will produce more disposable income for those households currently earning nothing on their risk free savings. "

    Have you got an idea of how many US families save ?

    The amounts on savings accounts going up might be caused by that one person -Bill Gates or Southgent1951- who decided to put all his money on a savings account.

    If such is the case, the DSDIN (debt service to disposable income number) would not tell you the whole story and would not be evidence of growing potential consumption.
    Didn't I read somewhere that the US middle class is being wiped out ?
    Mar 24 04:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Greatest Danger For Stock Investors Today [View article]
    South,
    Actually, I do happen to have Swiss friends near Fribourg.
    When the kids were small, we used to visit them in wintertime to have them practice some skiing and then they came over to Belgian to visit Bruges & alii.
    And one of my Belgian friends lives in Switzerland:
    http://bit.ly/1fbBYXN
    I can only recommend the company he currently works for.
    Mar 24 03:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Greatest Danger For Stock Investors Today [View article]
    locutus,
    That's more or less how I operate, but I would never define my operations as "regardless market timing".
    On the contrary, I Always try to time the market, sometimes successfully, most of the time with limited success.
    Mar 24 03:45 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Greatest Danger For Stock Investors Today [View article]
    Take,
    I would call that good market timing.
    If not, you're losing money.
    Mar 24 03:40 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • After The Sell-Off: A Bright Spot For Gold [View article]
    Coins,
    Bear Stearns did that in Feb 2008 and look where they're now.
    In the gutter.
    Mar 24 03:28 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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