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  • Eagle Ford condensate producers win, refiners lose in oil export decision [View news story]
    jerry, I'm not following your logic at all. If an export ban is lifted, that's *more* free trade and *less* protectionist. It's *less* regulation, not more. Prices that drop are falling because of fear those industries are losing the *protection* of regulations that artificially propped up their profit margins by *preventing* free market exchanges to occur.
    Jun 26 01:29 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ford Breaks Out [View article]
    Ryandan, Let me know when you've found an automaker or any multi-billion dollar company without lawsuits.
    Jun 9 12:40 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Event That Will End The Bull Market [View article]
    >>"Answer: Low interest rates"<<

    Interest is what we pay on new debt. Deficit is the difference between what we collect and what we spend. Interest rates don't control the deficit. The deficit is purely budgetary. U.S. gov't spending is decreasing relative to revenue. That's the only possible way deficit can shrink.
    Apr 21 11:16 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Only 20 Companies That Matter [View article]
    A more specific example might help clarify how special exemptions are available to the biggest companies but not to small businesses:

    Deferral of Overseas Income:

    Multinational companies don’t have to pay U.S. income taxes on overseas profits until they transfer them back home. But in reality, companies just leave their profits in overseas tax havens, deferring taxes indefinitely. Not only that, an accounting scheme known as “transfer pricing” allows companies to move profits from the U.S. to offshore havens so they’re counted as overseas earnings. For example a pharmaceutical company could sell a drug patent to a subsidiary in the Cayman Islands for a nominal fee, then have the subsidiary charge the parent company huge licensing fees. The company can then deduct the licensing fees from its taxable income in the U.S. and send the profits to its foreign subsidiary, where taxes can be indefinitely deferred. Some 83 percent of top 100 publicly traded companies had tax-haven units in 2009, according to the GAO. General Electric, Google, Pfizer, and many other companies use this technique.

    Source: the daily beast:
    Mar 29 01:40 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • After three "jobless recoveries" in the last twenty years, NYT's Hedrick Smith suggests it's time to take a lesson from Henry Ford. History has proven Ford's virtuous circle to be effective, and if business managers "give the middle class a better share of the nation’s economic gains... the economy will grow faster." [View news story]
    wkl, you need to adjust for inflation. Unless you do that, your numbers are utterly meaningless.
    Sep 3 02:31 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • New accounting rules set to be approved Monday could sharply raise (on paper) the massive pension shortfalls faced by states and municipalities, though government officials insist the change is only cosmetic and won't force an alteration in their behavior or return assumptions. Prepare for "sticker shock" says a benefits consultant.  [View news story]
    Tack, they're only "vote-pandering schemes" to the extent that people want public services yet don't want to pay for them. The case I know best is San Diego. The city was able to compete for engineers in the late 90's (during the dot-com bubble) to set up web services because it offered a good enough pension benefit that wages were exempt from FICA (social security) withholding. These skills were in high demand at that time. The engineers who accepted jobs with the city weren't "the recipients of unjustifiable and unearned largesse". The city made them an employment offer and years later is failing to uphold its side of the contract.

    Because that contract was unrealistic, it probably does need to be broken and compromises made all around. It's always popular to blame some group that you and your buddies are don't belong to but the fact is that every citizen shares responsibility (and blame) for this problem -- even if only through complacency in years past.
    Jun 23 02:36 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • New accounting rules set to be approved Monday could sharply raise (on paper) the massive pension shortfalls faced by states and municipalities, though government officials insist the change is only cosmetic and won't force an alteration in their behavior or return assumptions. Prepare for "sticker shock" says a benefits consultant.  [View news story]
    I agree wholeheartedly with this U.I. and would go one further. Allow individuals more flexibility and control over their 401k-style investments. The limited investment choice is the main problem with 401k-style retirement plans. Both public and private sector employees stand to benefit from the ability to self manage more of their retirement. But public employees have the most to gain. Imagine the corruption possibilities should a single fund manager get the 401K contract for all of California. That would be another sort of disaster waiting to happen.
    Jun 23 01:12 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bob Wenzel holds no punches in a speech this week to the NY Fed: "The noose is tightening on your organization, vast amounts of money printing are now required to keep your manipulated economy afloat. It will ultimately result in huge price inflation, or, if you stop printing, another massive economic crash will occur. There is no other way out."  [View news story]
    That was my point. Thought it was obvious....
    Apr 28 06:27 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Solar Bubble Has Officially Burst - Survivors Will Ultimately Capture More Market Share [View article]
    90% was the top marginal rate during the Eisenhower administration. Reason it was so high was to pay down U.S. war debts.
    Apr 6 06:16 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Most Deceptive And Dangerous Financial Headline I Have Ever Seen [View article]
    3 Cheese,

    The authors don't write the headlines. S.A.'s editors do that. Ever wonder why so many thoughtful articles are emblazoned with (and degraded by) National Enquirer style headlines? Well that's why.

    James' call was for a major drop in the market by end of April 2012. It's not yet end of April. When it IS end of April, then we can talk about whether James was right or not.
    Apr 2 02:06 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Seeking Alpha Interest Index: What's Hot, What's Not? [View article]
    "tighten publishing requirements"

    I vote for that :-)
    Mar 18 09:43 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Annaly: What Is Going On? [View article]
    gabby11, since I'm the evil skeptic, I'll give this a shot. Basically, I think anyone who bought NLY before the housing boom has no compelling reason to sell unless the business model is threatened.

    As I see it, with the existing business model, the max plausible downside risk is that NLY might return to being a $10-12 stock with a 5-6% dividend which you thought was fine at the time you bought and which still represents both a net gain and ongoing income for you.

    That's the risk based on margin compression. The risks based on threats to the business model are greater. In that case, NLY could either go out of business or suspend its dividend while transitioning to a new business model (with a substantial drop in share price). Examples of risk to the business model include a change to the tax laws (the REIT tax exemption goes away) or the agencies (Fannie, Freddie, and Ginnie) are abolished. The former sounds like a Democratic risk and the latter sounds like a Republican risk, but actually both have had bipartisan sponsors. For example, Geithner (Obama's Treasury Secretary) proposes that the agencies be wound down and that the gov't get out of the mortgage business.

    NLY also has a stake in CIM so risks to CIM are also risks to NLY's bottom line.

    Since your dividends at this point will have been greater than your initial investment, you can still walk away with a net gain even if NLY goes out of business. If you follow the news, you'll have fair warning if the business model is going to disappear, so I don't see an urgent reason to sell. The situation is different for someone looking to get into NLY at this point, Buying into an mREIT in 2012 is, imo, a much bigger risk than holding on to a position that was bought in 1999.

    I often hear people saying, "I bought so and so for the dividend so I don't care what happens to share price". That makes no sense to me because if the dividend comes under threat (as all revenue sources eventually do) and the original capital investment has diminished, it may not be feasible to fully replace that revenue. The best ways to prevent loss of revenue are conservative investments (not just going for the biggest dividend) and continued growth of capital. I tend to think many retirees put themselves at needless risk by neglecting to manage their capital.

    Mar 11 10:21 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "Those jobs aren't coming back," said Steve Jobs to the President, who asked what it would take to bring Apple's production to the U.S. It's not just low wages, Chinese manufacturing infrastructure has grown to remarkable size and sophistication. Apple's contribution to U.S. employment will be through its stores, its empowerment of entrepreneurs, and jobs at cellular providers and shippers, but not the actual building of its products.  [View news story]
    "The problem with made in USA is wages, taxes and regulations ... something we can fix!!!!"

    Also not enough worker suicides. That would reduce the unemployment rate right there.
    Jan 22 12:14 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Baltic Dry Index Is The Most Alarming Chart Of The Week [View article]
    "The Baltic Index made a similar decline at the end of 2010"

    And for similar reasons. The Chinese have been flooding the world with new ships. Same as with solar. It's a national strategy to corner and control a market sector they've identified as important to them. Last year it was VLCCF's used for shipping oil. This year, it's the smaller ships, which are used for shipping...guess what...dry bulk commodities, which just happens to be...guess what...the very thing the BDI measures.
    Jan 21 03:35 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BofA (BAC) reportedly told U.S. regulators it's willing to withdraw from some parts of the country if its financial problems worsen. Sources say a potential retreat was on a list of emergency scenarios submitted by BofA execs to the Fed last year. The list also included a potential sale of a separate class of shares tied to the performance of Merrill Lynch.  [View news story]
    BofA's business model is to trick its customers whenever possible and cheat them out of the most money they can. That's a business that deserves to fail.
    Jan 13 02:49 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment