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  • Book Review: The Big Con [View article]
    I read your article looking for evidence of the greatest scam of all time, the collapse of 2008. Sadly not much there, but you did bring up remembrances of my misspent youth around grifters in the 1970's. I never was in on a big con but was around a lot of little ones. I remember the 1st time I saw "The Sting" with my wife I was laughing so hard at the opening scene and my wife asked what was so funny and I told her they had switched the envelopes and the gangster had an envelope with newspaper in it. A minute later the truth came out and she wanted to know how I knew it. Early on I realized if grifters and cheats worked as hard at a real job as they do at cheating their personal lives would be much better off. Over the years I have supplemented my income playing poker and have caught many cheats over the years. Then came casinos and cheating became institutionalized by the house. I have not caught many folks cheating in Vegas but if you gamble in a Mississippi casino you almost certainly have been cheated. I tried to report this to the Miss. gaming commission and they could not be bothered even with proof. Caveat Emptor.
    When history is written and the evidence comes out Cheney and the Geitners of this world will be connected with the biggest fraud in history, 2008 was not a banking collapse but a real transfer of wealth. Follow the money if you want the Truth.
    Jun 29 10:53 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Investors Continue To Flock To Armour [View article]
    OK here is the deal on this article, the author claims to not have any position on ARR. This piece of fluff on ARR is in bad faith and lies about the future of ARR. First of all call the investor relations folks at ARR and ask about income and hedging activity. I would be very surprised if they answered the phone even. As far as I can gather ARR is in a race to bankruptcy so the managers can start over with new stock and the Hell with the old stockholders, just like they did with Bimini Capital. I suspect the brokerage firms are in on this also and will gain in the issuance of new stock. Of the mREITs this one is by far the worst run by any metric you want to chose. You would be hard pressed to find any insiders investing in ARR because this shit is for selling not buying. I have not figured out how these hacks stay out of jail but I would gladly testify against them in a heartbeat which I am certain that these managers have none for their shareholders. Let me finish by saying please forgive me for not being more harsh on them but my writing skills forbid.
    Jun 23 03:59 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • American Capital Agency Corp.'s. Dividend Sustainability Analysis (Post Q1 2014 Earnings) - Part 2 [View article]
    Hi Scott, like your articles and analysis, why not write something on AGNC and other mREITs and all of their hedging activity. It seems to me that hedges are for exactly what happened last year to the REITs. What good are these hedges if not to cover your backside when the market goes adversely? Is there anything hincky going on with so many hedges and derivatives allowing your stock to get clobbered? I have reduced my mREIT holdings significantly last year and would like to get back in but the hair on the back of my neck is saying no. What say you? I miss those dividends but not the price and BV depreciations.

    If the Government gets out of the mortgage business altogether ala Fannie and Freddie, how will this affect mREITS? Many folks say that mREITs are akin to bond funds and act accordingly, but the mREIT managers think a lot more highly of their skills by paying themselves exorbitant salaries even when they lose money. When I make bad decisions I lose money directly, why is there no accountability for these guys?
    Jun 2 06:41 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Western Asset Stock Price Is At The Buy Point For This Quarter [View article]
    Option number two seems the way to go, and I thank you for it. The last couple of years I have been doing the opposite and getting spanked at tax time. Most of the writers on SA believe these mREITs work like a bond fund, personally I believe they are akin to Ponzi schemes. How so? When the mREITs are young they issue more stock with every new dividend, claiming that is the only way they can grow. They pay astronomical dividends even above their earnings. So one must assume a good part of that dividend is return of capital, but you are being taxed as income. Secondly these guys are leveraged to the gills. Danger danger Will Robinson. Thirdly they have derivatives out the wazoo, that I defy anyone to try and understand. If this were a poker game there are way too many wild cards to keep up with. If they are able to borrow 8 and 9 times on capital why do they need my money in the first place? The one thing I have trouble understanding is why Bernie Madoff is still in jail and these guys are out and plying their trade of bamboozling folks.
    May 18 06:42 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Western Asset -3.4% as earnings dive amid strategy shift [View news story]
    Well if "buy the rumor and sell on the news" holds any water then this news is not the time to sell, although I am waxing tired of the bad news and the SA writers shorting the stock. I suppose that I am getting robbed at the gas pump and in the stock market with these oil and gas stocks. The worst of both worlds. If this was a poker game I would be asking for a deck count because the odds are not adding up. If this was a basketball game I would certainly want to check the bank accounts of the officials. Let's see, the product is in all time demand and supplies seem to be fixed, so something must be remiss in the management end of things.
    May 8 12:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Best Time To Buy Western Asset Mortgage Capital [View article]
    It probably had something to do with Fannie and Freddie being dismantled by Congress. But don't listen to me because these mREITs usually do the opposite of what I think they should. Tapering means less competition from the Feds and should be a positive but Market says no. Interest rates going up should mean more money for mREITs, but the Market says no! Cutting dividends and spending the money to buy back their own shares appears to be a negative, but the Market says it is a positive. Now AGNC cuts it's dividend and uses the money to buy it's competition's shares. To my way of thinking this should be a huge negative, but the Market loves that notion for some crazy reason. Color me baffled I guess.
    Mar 12 07:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Armour Continues Buybacks In A Big Way For Investors [View article]
    As my daddy used to tell me at report card time "I buy your books. I pay for your schooling and all you think about is screwing the teacher. When are you going to learn?" The folks running ARR and JMI, are the same ones who ran Bimini Capital into the ditch, leaving the shareholders holding the bag. They seem to be in a race to see how soon they can run ARR into bankruptcy court, and start over with new shares. This is the only reason I can figure for the way they treat shareholders. Why else would they cut dividends and use the money to buy back shares? They cut dividends, but not salaries or bonuses. If ARR is not a Ponzi scheme in mREIT clothing then we should let Bernie Madoff out of jail and apologize unreservedly.
    Mar 12 10:36 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is An Expensive Himax Technologies Still A Buy? [View article]
    Dear Bernard,
    Do as I did and just get over it. The articles on this site almost never portray the headlines accurately. Generally I come here to see what the comments have to say as they are the holders of the stocks mentioned in the articles.
    Mar 11 03:00 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • American Capital Agency's Mid-Q1 2014 Composition And Valuation Analysis - Part 1 [View article]
    Paint me skeptical, but I didn't read anything about the real route to prosperity for AGNC. A couple of years ago Kain et al hired the 2 top guys from Fannie and Freddie after they both had tanked to nearly zero. The only reason I could discern for such a bonehead move was payback for cherry picking AGNC's portfolio previously. The move smacked of illegality but I had a right smart of AGNC stock at the time and had no room to complain.
    Forgive me Scott but your analysis is not big on mentioning Balance Sheets or Income Statements, I was taught in Finance School that is the 1st place to start any analysis. What say you? I appreciate the obvious time you spent on this report, now I have to wonder which side your bread is buttered. You cannot possibly do this much work for altruistic reasons. Does AGNC have you in their back pocket? Just saying.
    If AGNC's portfolio changes daily, then their derivatives must change hourly or by the minute. So far they have been a complete failure w/derivatives offsetting losses as the stock has gone from high 30's to the very low 20's. What say you?
    I did like you said and skipped over to the conclusions and found none except maybe the $645 million figure that you then quickly hedge by saying things change daily.
    Feb 27 10:10 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Whiting USA Trust I: Estimating Remaining Distributions [View article]
    Let me think about that, presently I do not see myself holding this dog past where it will hunt. Presently I am thinking they have overstated the costs of shutting down the trust and there may well be some premium left at the end.
    Feb 11 11:40 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Whiting USA Trust I: Estimating Remaining Distributions [View article]
    In regards to Schwab only having 14,000 shares in customer accounts; I have 21,500 shares of WHX in my acct. with Schwab. I have been wanting to sell covered calls on them but no buyers yet and for small premiums. I had planned to get out of WHX this summer, but may do it sooner per information in this article. This is something I rarely do, trade on any info in a SA article. I have a feeling that the price of oil is headed upward by tensions in the Mideast and general inflation. WHX has been good to me but I am not married to it. I suspect that the .55 dividend is a return of capital as much as profits. In the words of the greatest philosopher in the world Doris Day "que sera' sera'".
    Feb 11 07:24 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Now Everything Is Crystal Clear [View article]
    Great article, my first time reading you but I will be back. Title of article and content more confusing than ever, nothing much to hang your hat on. I like your covered call strategy as I employ it myself, you are so smart when you agree with me. You might want to consider covered calls on some high yielding mREITs or Ponzi's as I like to call them. If you catch them in their early years they can be profitable, but always keep an eye on the door, for when things get chaotic. They love to tell you about their hedges and swaptions and such but no mention of Balance Sheets or Income Statements. At any rate you can do well with them if you do not buy the hype and realize they are just like a Ponzi in that the guys in early and out do very well, late to the party you get left holding the bag.
    If you buy Chesapeake hoping Ichan will help you out then I wish you well. By the time you hear what Ichan is doing it is finished. It is the nature of his business to talk buy while he is selling, you and I are not on the inside, and CNBC is complicit in these shenanigans.
    Feb 9 10:04 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • American Capital Agency: Conference Call Turned Circus Act [View article]

    OK color me stupid, I do not get it. Taking my money to buy other folks stock seems nefarious at best. Toss around some finance doubletalk and hedging to confuse the simple folk and race to bankruptcy as fast as possible and start over with new stock. If Cain slew Able then this Kain is trying to slay AGNC. At some point we will have to release Bernie Madoff and apologize, because these guys make him look insignificant and small. To my way of thinking this is the height; no the zenith; no the very quintessence in ridicularity.
    On all levels this move appears brazen and manifest in it's apparently raised middle finger to shareholders. I love all of the talk about BV and hedges that no one can decipher as it changes hourly. Talk of Balance Sheets and Income Statements are never spoken of as this business is so "sophisticated" that it takes geniuses to even understand it.
    How does this pissy little manager get income in the millions as the stock price plummets 40%? What happened to all of these hedges we pay him to implement to keep us safe from 40% losses?
    Whenever folks tell me about TAXES or algorithms the hair on the back of my neck stands up. Evidently AGNC is selling tax advantages on government agency paper that have something to do with houses and amortization. Why does the government need my money when they can print up or digitally create all of the "money" they want or need? AGNC "pays" outsized relatively safe dividends at a time when "Mr. Market" says returns should be somewhere south of 3%. Is "'Mr. Market" wrong or has Mr. Kain found a honeypot of money that no one else can access? Methinks neither. Incidentally those outsized dividends were accompanied with quarterly issues of more stock at higher prices.
    Feb 8 09:15 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Best Time To Buy Western Asset Mortgage Capital [View article]
    I am not worried about how these authors make their money, more power to them. I usually do not read them at all or 1st paragraph to see if anything of merit is there. I am much more interested what the folks who own the stock have to say. Oftentimes I only read the comments. For your edification Schwab guys are worth what you pay them which is nothing for their advice. In the case of WMC they said it most certainly would be a cash deal, when it came in it was mostly a stock dividend. I am not too disappointed because the stock price they gave me was lower than the today price, giving me a little more account value. Hooray for the little guy. I am still bullish on WMC as a mREIT. I tend to think they will appreciate for at least another year, then the price should begin to tank like AGNC and NLY.
    Jan 30 06:33 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Best Time To Buy Western Asset Mortgage Capital [View article]
    Dear Rok, Thank you so much. Schwab claims that this will be a cash deal, I am thinking schwab has some kind of deal with WMC. I expect to find out in the morning as Schwab has started holding dividends until midnight on date payable. I am thankful to have folks like you watching my back. We are all in this together. I noticed WMC went north of $15.00 today just after I sold covered calls at $15.00 last week. In the words of the world's greatest philosopher Doris Day 'que sera' sera'.
    Jan 28 08:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment