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  • 4 Reasons 'AGreekment' Will Fail Greece And The Euro, Plus What It Means For U.S. Investors [View article]
    Greece is a complex problem, you cannot deal with issues affecting 11 million people in a careless fashion. Despite the existing corruption and the very rich Greek, we can assume the bulk of the population is neither corrupted nor rich. These people have been put through the wringer with more to come. Currently the prior status of mutual accusations and blame throwing between the parties in the negotiations (the new negotiations) are about to start again.

    There are new developments. The Syriza party is fractionating with the left wing fraction gaining traction. The existence of a plan approved by Tsipiras to re introduce the drachma has been made public. Unfortunately for Greece Tsipiras lacked the courage or internal fortitude to implement it in June. Tsipiras has become a minority PM dependent on opposition votes (an opposition which wants him out of office) and therefore has become markedly weakened. Tsipiras did manage to push two sets of reforms through parliament. However, the creditors want more reforms push through parliament in order to negotiate the next bailout and Tsipiras is, once more, backing out and saying he will not pass anything else not agreed upon on June 12. This looks to me like a return of the dialogue about financial issues in emotional terms, something that has no chance of working.

    To top it all the amount of money they received from the ECB was just enough to pay arrears to the IMF, a loan due to the Japanese (small), and the money due to the ECB in July. It does nothing in terms of bank recapitalization, or future due payments. The banks are open but with unchanged money controls. People are not happy with the situation with the banks or the stuff the government keeps on telling them. The small business owners are freaked out about the possibility that all funds in the banks over the insurance cap will be taken over to recapitalize the banks, making their businesses insolvent. True there are wealthy people with money still in Greek banks (most of their capital is likely to be out of Greece already), but this is not the bulk of the money (20B euros or so) over the insured cap, the bulk of it is the operational capital for small businesses.

    In a prior post I mentioned how this mess would continue until the Greek people has had enough and clamors for an out. I think the process is, once more, moving in that direction. Personally, and setting aside all emotional context, insults, name calling and blame, I believe Greece will be better off out of the Euro, and the Euro will be better off without Greece. However I think the Greeks have yet to open up their eyes and see the light on the other end of the tunnel. They still have to go through that dark threshold where what they wanted to avoid (leaving the Euro) becomes desirable to them.
    Jul 29, 2015. 08:47 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 4 Reasons 'AGreekment' Will Fail Greece And The Euro, Plus What It Means For U.S. Investors [View article]
    I really do not believe there is a grand conspiracy to bring about a new world order. Whether a new world order will be created or not depends upon far too many factors to be amenable to planning or plotting, however circumstance and chance may indeed bring change. We should not be surprised by change, witness the elevation of China to world economic superpower status in the last 20 or 30 years. Who would have thought such a rise would happen back in 1980?
    Jul 16, 2015. 08:36 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 4 Reasons 'AGreekment' Will Fail Greece And The Euro, Plus What It Means For U.S. Investors [View article]
    Agree the Economic problem, which is very real, is separate from feelings and perceptions. Yet, a lot of the public discussion of the Greek issue over the last few months has been directed at feelings like humiliation and blackmail, on the Greek side. On the Creditors side there has been deep outrage ("who do they think we are"or "are we to be insulted in such a way by this nothing of a country, people, etc...). Feelings and perceptions cannot be repaired with money, these are two different tracks that should be kept separate. Unfortunately the rhetoric of feelings has been used to describe economic conditions, and the resulting efforts to repair the economic damage. The resulting confusion will be extremely difficult to solve in either side without some sort of emotional catharsis.
    Jul 14, 2015. 01:17 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 4 Reasons 'AGreekment' Will Fail Greece And The Euro, Plus What It Means For U.S. Investors [View article]
    I think the problem is primarily one of perception and feeling. The Greeks do not want to leave the Euro, not yet anyways, and the EU does not want Greece to go, again not yet anyways. If they are willing to throw billions of Euros for little progress (creditor side) and experience untold levels of suffering (Greek side), then that is exactly what they will do. When the time comes and exhaustion sets in, then they will split. There is truth to the saying: "Sadder but wiser now."
    Jul 14, 2015. 12:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Federal Reserve Has Painted Itself Into A Corner [View article]
    I think any attempt to predict the stock market direction based upon the fiscal policy of other economies compared to ours will not be, by nature, accurate.
    Jun 4, 2015. 07:33 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Down The Rabbit Hole [View article]
    Very interesting and very philosophical in every way possible. There are no answers, only ideas. Only the future will determine if the ideas become answers.
    Apr 27, 2015. 08:30 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Employers are going to have to pay out an estimated $1.1B of rebates to workers whose 2011 health-insurance plans spent too much of their premium dollars on administration rather than medical care. The requirement goes into force today under the Healthcare Act, as does a rule forcing employers to include contraception and other women's services in workers' plans without charging fees.  [View news story]
    Economics will not determine your life expectancy and neither will rules or regulations. The real determinant of your life expectancy is your genes. If you get to be 65 without any degenerative disorders you will live a long life, longer than average expectancy. On the other hand if you get to be 65 and have a half dozen of chronic degenerative disorders on board you will likely not live to the average life expectancy for age. It is as simple as that. Of course, accidents do happen and even the healthiest person may be killed prematurely in a car crash.
    Aug 1, 2012. 11:56 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In today's market, it seems that if you hold onto an investment for longer than just a few days, you're this century's version of a value investor. The average holding period for the S&P 500 SPDR (SPY) is less than five days, and the ETF trades more than its entire capitalization each and every week. In an age where high-frequency trading dominates the market, many are beginning to wonder if the buy and hold strategy is dead.  [View news story]
    HFT is playing a bigger role than you all think. Take the HFT as noise obscuring the true signal for SPY or any other large security actively traded by the HFT crowd. Since they provide the bulk of the volume in SPY they also control the direction SPY takes. This is a case where the noise becomes the signal.

    Now, to go further, HFT is played by identifying nuances in the price action that indicates impending buying or selling. Once this nuance is identified, they just pour in trying to beat one another to the goal line. Profit and loss depend on millisecond reaction times.

    Now, please ask yourselves, how is this similar to the type of research and trading you all do? The answer is not at all similar. So then, since the HFT crowd controls the short term trading, what is left for all the rest of us? Simply stated the long term tradign. And how can we do this with the HFT traders controlling the price action?

    Well for one the HFT crowd generally does not consider value and acts in knee jerk movement by many many traders at a time that can be compared to a gestalt or mass movement. One idea may be to wait for them to beat a stock down that you do not think deserves to be beaten down and then buy it and hold tight, or to look for something soaring to the stratosphere which you do not think has the fundamental support to be there, and then short it.

    Just some thoughts. Have fun.
    Jun 26, 2012. 12:30 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment