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  • The apparent movement towards a deal has the VIX plunging 19%, one of its biggest single-day implosions in years (and that's saying something). The "fear gauge" had made a big move higher since mid-December as traders bet on a D.C. agreement not being reached. Other big moves: August 2011, -27%, May 2010 -30%. VXX -10.1%[View news story]
    I don't understand. You were negotiating with Boehner because the House is the legislative body you are most concerned about the agreement being able to pass. So going back and negotiating a deal with the Senate (one that seems even less palatable to the House members than the one they rejected) seems irrelevant.

    I think the only thing being accomplished here is the Senate gets to say, "See, we are the reasonable ones!". I think this just puts Boehner in an even worse position. The hardliner house members are concerned about being primaried, not losing their seat to a Democrat. They CANNOT budge.

    This was a great day to realize year-end gains and losses.
    Dec 31, 2012. 04:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More on Apple's (AAPL) increasing use of overseas labor in making iPhones: It's a core conviction at AAPL that it isn’t just that workers are cheaper abroad. It believes "the vast scale of overseas factories as well as the flexibility, diligence and industrial skills of foreign workers have so outpaced their American counterparts that 'Made in the USA' is no longer a viable option for most Apple products.”  [View news story]
    Yeah, it's because of China's laissez faire pro-market economy, not an incredibly subsidized and controlled market economy and currency peg!!!
    Jan 24, 2012. 10:24 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The younger you are, the more freaked out you are by the housing crash. A new Boston Fed paper shows that age matters in the willingness to buy a home, suggesting a new generation may be coming along that will cast a wary eye at home ownership for a long time - another headwind to future growth.  [View news story]
    So on top of carrying the burden of baby boomers' retirements on our backs we'll also be renting homes from them? This was an enormous opportunity to take advantage of a massive transfer of wealth. I got mine. Thanks.
    Oct 18, 2011. 12:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Economist's Greg Ip wonders if the passing of Steve Jobs is symbolic of "a broader decline in American entrepreneurship." U.S. self-esteem is now embodied by Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon, which employ just 113K, a third of GM’s payroll in 1980. The loss of middle-class jobs isn't a U.S.-only problem, but "this does not excuse American governance for making matters worse."  [View news story]
    And I looked back at the footprints in the sand over the past few years of the American economy, and asked, "During the most difficult times why were there only one set of footprints?". Mr Jobs replied "that's when I was carrying you."

    I believe that as we've slogged through and papered over the worst of the globalization dream of the neoliberals that Mr. Jobs left us with a potential manufacturing boom due to his products and the copycats that came frantically afterward. As manufacturing in China becomes more competitive and their consumer base grows dramatically, we may see quite a different landscape over the next decade.
    Oct 8, 2011. 09:41 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More on the jobs report: Pimco's El-Erian isn't giddy about the data, pointing out (video) the broader measure of unemployment (U-6) rose to 16.5% - marking the highest level of 2011. Co-manager Bill Gross sings the same tune, saying "this report screams decent, it doesn't scream pretty good." To see real expansion he thinks the economy needs to be adding jobs at a pace of 200K-250K per month.  [View news story]
    When my kid starts crawling I'm going to say that it's "decent" when he takes his first steps I'll say it's "pretty good".
    Oct 7, 2011. 02:32 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sep. Nonfarm Payrolls: +103K vs. consensus of +60K, 0 prior. Unemployment 9.1% in-line with expectation. Avg. hourly earnings +$0.04. to $23.12. Workweek +0.1 hour to 34.3.  [View news story]
    Yeah I read that somewhere...
    Oct 7, 2011. 08:45 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sep. Nonfarm Payrolls: +103K vs. consensus of +60K, 0 prior. Unemployment 9.1% in-line with expectation. Avg. hourly earnings +$0.04. to $23.12. Workweek +0.1 hour to 34.3.  [View news story]
    Oh no upward revisions! Lions and Tigers and, and...
    Oct 7, 2011. 08:44 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ignore The Spin - Steve Jobs' Death Really Matters [View article]
    "Again, recall the fates of Palm, Sony, Nokia and RIMM"

    Palm-b**h slapped by AAPL
    Sony-annihilated by AAPL
    Nokia-trounced by AAPL
    RIMM-royally boofooed by AAPL

    Perhaps you're right. Cheers Steve! You'll be dearly missed.
    Oct 6, 2011. 02:09 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple (AAPL +1.4%) has turned positive after opening lower on news of Steve Jobs' death. Analysts are reaffirming their confidence in Apple's management team to produce "continued success." However, the true impact of Jobs' passing may not involve Apple's short-term ability to grow existing businesses, but its long-term ability to deliver "the next big thing." (more)  [View news story]
    I firmly believe that Jobs led us all over this visionary hump. The competitors are still way behind. Basically they're violating intellectual property laws simply because they cannot afford not to.

    He didn't invent the phone he just made the internet mobile. He didn't invent music in your pocket either he just reimagined its delivery. I believe that he created an ecosystem for Apple that laid out a path for future innovation and growth; iTV or what have you.

    That being said, trees don't grow to the sky. But this is still an area for enormous growth, not consumer staples.
    Oct 6, 2011. 11:13 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Initial Jobless Claims: -37K to 391K vs. -4K consensus. Continuing claims -20K to 3,729,000.  [View news story]
    My employer (in the asset mgmt sector) has been hiring like gangbusters. Not kidding. We just brought in 2 new HR peeps from corporate to support the hiring.
    Sep 29, 2011. 10:01 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In The Race For Patents, InterDigital Could Keep Pace [View article]
    As the specifics of the GOOG purchase of MMI become public, it seems that the patents were only a part of the issue. GOOG was afraid that Moto was going to settle numerous patent disputes that would basically admit that Android violated AAPL's patents. The need to acquire more patents to protect Android should still be very imperative to Google's success in the mobile market. I think that a)not acquiring IDCC's wealth of patents and/or b) letting a competitor acquire them should be motivation for all potential bidders.

    I think that the author does bring about the primary risk factor of IDCC and the reason that the price is depressed from its potential acquisition price: the possibility that IDCC decides not to put itself up for acquisition at this point in time. The price is caught between being priced on the value of it's attractive assets (patents which are of immense value to others) and it's revenues/profitability (cash flows based on licensing these patents). It should be quite clear why these patents would be more valuable to a player in the mobile space. It would greatly hamper the competition while elevating your products.
    Sep 15, 2011. 10:47 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • "Wintel schmintel," Josh Brown scoffs - value investor favorites Microsoft (MSFT) and Intel (INTC) are cheap for good reason. These stocks are simply dead money, he says, because they are PC companies at heart - and dominating "an industry in permanent decline has never been a rewarding scenario." (also)  [View news story]
    With the decline of RIMM there is a huge opportunity for MSFT to fill the void that leaves the enterprise user without a device that is properly integrated. No matter how successful iPhone is I still see middle management clinging to their clunky blackberries.

    If Windows 8 is a hit, which even techie bloggers are saying it is, I say MSFT gets a big boost. They may even refresh the PC's they've been getting away with that run XP. So I'll be able to go into a meeting and use Office 365 on a tablet that is integrated with my desk PC and my Windows phone? Hmmmm...
    Sep 8, 2011. 05:12 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Gap Caught In A Bad, Never-Ending Movie [View article]
    It's not just inflation. Texas provides around 55% of the nation's cotton output. And this drought will last for years longer. Rick Perry should start pushing polyester blends.
    Sep 2, 2011. 06:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Obama administration will release final plans for ending or reducing hundreds of regulations affecting businesses, but the changes don't affect the broad thrust of major initiatives such as proposed rules to reduce carbon emissions and laws passed last year that aim to protect consumers from financial and health insurance abuses.  [View news story]
    NO!, no, cut all of them! If I want to perform a kidney transplant in a back alleyway with a bottle of grain alcohol and a swiss army knife, the gummint should keep their grubby hands out of it. I've got to supplement my stagnant income somehow!
    Aug 23, 2011. 10:26 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Once more taking a bearish tone, Marc Faber sees the West having "very muted growth" over the next 10 years thanks to a combination of deficits, entitlement obligations, and debt overhang. Faber recommends investors keep 20-30% of their assets in gold "in a safe deposit box ideally outside the U.S." (previously)  [View news story]
    I'm keeping $500 in twenties stuffed up my butt anyway.
    Aug 23, 2011. 10:14 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment