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  • Possible Futures For Twitter  [View instapost]
    EDIT: The Facebook CFO is Mr. David Ebersman, not Eberhard, see http://abcn.ws/1xJX10c re his arrival in 2009 from Genentech.
    Nov 23, 2014. 11:57 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I'm Selling SAP  [View article]
    Reading about SAP's HANA product was an eye-opener for me. I don't sense that SAP has a coherent global strategy. From the SAP press release: "With the SAP HANA platform, the possibilities to innovate new business models around Concur and the network are limitless.” However, users are struggling to see the business case for even using HANA at all!

    This is kind of scary too, though not surprising on a fundamental level (quoting the author of this post, Weighing Machine, not SAP):
    "I have yet to find a SaaS stock which is generating a profit, let alone one earning margins of 30%"
    By fundamental, I don't mean GAAP or financial ratios, though that is a valid concern too. Instead, I am thinking of the premise of cloud computing in general. Security and cost become a real concern at scale, for many (not all!) business/enterprise customers.
    Sep 19, 2014. 11:18 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Non, Merci  [View instapost]
    Here is a chart showing votes by county

    and another, with narrative, via The Economist
    "Scotland's referendum - Britain survives"
    Sep 19, 2014. 10:43 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Non, Merci  [View instapost]
    This is a real concern:
    "especially considering that the locals nearest the oil are not particularly Scottish and may attempt to secede from an independent Scotland."
    Secession is being contemplated all over Europe (Catalonia is next, I think), in EU and non-EU countries.

    Scotland, Ireland and Wales have all made compromises to be part of Great Britain. As of now, that seems the lesser of evils, compared to the alternative of EU membership.
    Sep 19, 2014. 09:38 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Review Of Mark Minervini's 'Trade Like a Stock Market Wizard'  [View article]
    Maybe $4000 for an investment seminar would be worthwhile if you were a novice and attendance were limited to 10 people, or 5. Otherwise, no, I wouldn't pay that kind of money either.
    Sep 19, 2014. 09:26 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Supply-Side Versus Keynesian Economics  [View article]
    Are you truly saying that the Fed's policy of near-zero or less interest rates, for what seems like years now (instead of being a short-term, post-2008 crisis action) is just fine?!

    Although I don't see evidence of inflation in BLS economic data, I do notice rising prices for food and household staples. It manifests as fewer count or smaller item size for the same price. Also, more products are imported as they're no longer made/grown in the USA. Finally, the selection and variety for a given product e.g. canned tomatoes, yogurt, bagels, green beans, has shrunk to nearly nothing, all else being equal.
    Aug 19, 2014. 05:12 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • New Media Investment Group Offers 100%+ Upside With Downside Protection From Sustainable ~7% Dividend Yield  [View article]
    Did you notice this? "underlying research has been conducted by the author as part of his summer analyst internship with Nishkama Capital, LLC...The author is not receiving compensation for it other than from Seeking Alpha." I hope intern VJ is getting paid for his work by someone in addition to SA! Given that he is a summer intern, I'm less inclined to criticize.

    The newspaper industry is undeniably in a secular decline. Externalities are part of it, as much as technological change ("lack of a business model"). Isolated data point: NY Times was profitable for 2013 year (under Abramson, though she was fired in May; also, NYT isn't directly comparable as it isn't in local markets like NEWM). News media, more so than Snapchat or Groupon, has intangible value greater than indicated by EBITDA. Who knows how or when that will resolve though? I don't.

    Van Guard...? Typo for Vanguard or not?
    "4 firms own 25% of the stock, including value-oriented hedge fund Omega Advisors (13%) and Van Guard (4.9%)."

    Seems like Propel is a big part of the post-bankruptcy story for NEWM.
    Aug 19, 2014. 04:39 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Supply-Side Versus Keynesian Economics  [View article]
    I remember when you wrote this, also about supply-side economics, in mid-2012:
    It was bleak but mostly true.
    Aug 19, 2014. 03:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Supply-Side Versus Keynesian Economics  [View article]
    Alf, I would amend that somewhat.

    During the current recovery, policy makers have been distinctly unfriendly to small businesses. Well, add a few more.
    Unfriendly to:
    businesses that aren't in "high end" financial services;
    businesses that aren't social media, internet or sharing economy (which is now referred to as the technology sector but usually isn't);
    businesses that don't do green/alternative energy;
    businesses that aren't part of the heavily government-subsidized education reform movement (privatization of public schools is a more accurate description);
    businesses that aren't interested (or not crony connected) in public-private partnerships;
    most manufacturing, chemicals, metal & mining and other non-glamorous mainstays of our economy.
    Aug 19, 2014. 02:01 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • This Might Be A Stock Bubble, But Valuation Metrics Won't Help You Understand That  [View article]
    @Rich, I am not Cullen, nor OrcAm affiliated. Here's a possibility, although only Cullen knows for certain: All the indicators of value that were cited are at a market- or asset class-level. Maybe Cullen doesn't find aggregate valuations to be meaningful.

    In contrast, traditional valuation methods are based on company fundamentals, like financial statements and quarterly reports that use GAAP. Then one might want to do some product or industry specific comparisons too. Cullen might use those methods. Maybe even Benjamin Graham style valuation...?

    A remote possibility is that he's been doing technical analysis and reading candlestick charts for the past 10 years, instead of using the market valuation metrics mentioned in this post! That seems unlikely though.
    Jul 20, 2014. 10:03 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Ominous Portents In Consumer Sentiment  [View article]
    That's often the problem. How long can you hold out, going against the trend? Not very long, even with deep pockets.

    This post is logically sound (although I suffer from confirmation bias ;o) It is not an issue of "IF", but rather, of "WHEN". Now, THAT is the big question!

    Many do not have this viewpoint though, that there are numerous ominous portents. It seems clear to me, with few plausible deus ex machina to reverse the trend from going down down down... I would be delighted to learn why I am wrong.
    Jul 20, 2014. 09:34 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Missed Lesson Of Great Depression And Financial Crisis Blinds Economists To Bubble And Coming Recession  [View article]
    Most (not all) billionaires have NOT proven they can manage money better than the government and most of the private sector. Rather, they excel at regulatory and legislator capture.

    Carlos Slim owns the telecoms infrastructure for the entire country of Mexico! How can one go wrong at that point!

    Democrat-loyal hedge funds and wealthy liberal elite own Obama, thus the Dept of Ed tows the line with Common Core, charter school privatization, and charter school management operators (CMO's), CMO bonds and even securitization and emerging markets CMO's e.g. TFA's overseas Philippines branch is making money hand over fist. Who cares if the Tea Party, teachers unions and parents don't like it?

    This is not an off topic political rant. You just made a disturbing, 3-part distinction:
    1. Government
    2. Private sector
    3. Billionaires

    It is a good point, and is nothing to be happy about.
    Jun 2, 2014. 05:02 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Missed Lesson Of Great Depression And Financial Crisis Blinds Economists To Bubble And Coming Recession  [View article]
    Lol! Technocrats = tech know crap
    Mar 24, 2014. 10:17 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Missed Lesson Of Great Depression And Financial Crisis Blinds Economists To Bubble And Coming Recession  [View article]
    I understand your reasoning, Mr. Early. You're correct. It *should* work like you described, i.e. higher capital gains tax rates will make financial investment the less lucrative choice, and help reverse our current (unhealthy) GDP concentration in financial services.

    Here's the problem: Due to an increasingly draconian federal tax code full of loopholes, regulation that is undermined by waivers and exemptions (due to lobbyist and PAC funded legislator capture) and offshore tax havens, higher taxes will have little or no effect on the very very wealthy. Instead, they will hurt individuals and smaller, not-multinational conglomerate type businesses. There won't be increases in PP&E investment.

    That's so bleak, cynical, pessimistic! I'm sorry. Regardless, seems like capital preservation is the most prudent goal now, as you said.
    Mar 24, 2014. 10:10 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Missed Lesson Of Great Depression And Financial Crisis Blinds Economists To Bubble And Coming Recession  [View article]
    The example of human genomics and the billions of dollars that got poured into it is one of the weakest ways to make your point, pnin22. It is certainly true that one of the most prosperous areas (post-recovery, outside of North Dakota's oil boom), is metro DC. That isn't due to proximity to NIH and Walter Reed! President Obama' $1.0 billion Big Brain project does not use Walter Reed hospital patients as test subjects! Soaring real estate and income levels in metro DC, while the rest of the USA languishes, is a sign of bad governance, self-serving public policy. It's nothing to be happy about.

    Government funding of applied and even basic research CAN have a high ROI, but that's not what's going on now. Instead, government bureaucrats are extracting and monetizing our public infrastructure through (poorly executed) privatization and nutty neoliberal economic schemes like carbon credits and biofuel RIN's which just get gamed. Oh, also public-private partnerships with shadowy NGO's.

    MattZN2 is correct, regarding the specious use of statistical analysis in this article. The author could have omitted all of it; he made his point with straight prose and history. Most of us with any common sense realize that we're in a bubble that isn't sustainable, but when is the correction going to occur? Taking the opposite side of a financially-engineered bull market is dangerous too, even with the modest objective of asset preservation.
    Mar 24, 2014. 09:26 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment