Seeking Alpha


Send Message
View as an RSS Feed
View soleprop's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • Cocoa Beans Forecasted For $2,800-$2,999 [View article]
    Very informative chart. I never realized before that 1% is so much larger than 2% -- just goes to show, one can learn something new every day.

    "This article was written by Michelle Luk, an Academic Nexus financial analyst, and edited by Daniel Barankin." -- Great job, Daniel -- you take the "edit" out of "edited"!
    May 1, 2015. 11:04 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Oil And Solar Divergence Does Not Make Sense [View article]
    I tried to ignore this, but it kept bugging me. "Whale oil"! Is that meant to be a serious comparison? It was used for oil lamps, as a fine lubricant, and a cosmetic base -- clearly none of the major purposes to which petroleum is put to use in today's economy.

    Buggy whips have been in serious decline since the turn of the 20th century, and that's probably a more relevant comparison as it is related to transportation.
    Apr 23, 2015. 11:35 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Oil And Solar Divergence Does Not Make Sense [View article]
    For the last 20 years, the majority of new generating capacity in California has been gas-fired plants. It was the cheapest thing to build (not operate, but operations costs pass quickly to rate payers, whereas plant construction has to be financed over time). It was short-sighted and stupid, but it's what PG&E and SoCal Edison decided to do. Lucky for them that new gas from fracking has kept the fuel cost down for awhile else the ratepayers would be screaming for their scalps on a pole for having chosen this short-sighted "solution". Far better from the long-term perspective would have been more nuclear and geo-thermal teamed with pump-storage hydro along with the solar developments. The gas plants may not find fuel enough to serve-out their useful lives (setting the ecological considerations aside).
    Apr 17, 2015. 01:50 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Oil And Solar Divergence Does Not Make Sense [View article]
    I think a bigger question would be what are the real Saudi reserves. They obviously have pumping capacity to flood the market. But pumping capacity will mean nothing when the reserves are gone. They report more reserves now than were estimated at the time of the Aramco nationalization (1988). Some of that is no doubt true due to better recovery and analysis methods. Since the nationalization, we have only the Saudi's word for how much they still have in the ground, and I can think of no scenario where it would behoove them to report anything but a large amount still left. But to think 27 years of pumping massive amounts has left them with more oil than was estimated when Aramco was a multi-national company with outside influence on accounting and operations for me beggars belief (1988, after all, was not the dark ages -- methodology back then had progressed well beyond the dowsing rod). The long-term trend has to be away from fossil fuel and towards renewable from both an ecological and depletion point of view.

    "The Onion" just this week reported that the air in Beijing had solidified -- what further proof need we that we have already traveled too far down the fossil fuel road? Some may not think "The Onion" a reliable news source, but many of those same people would probably consider the self-reported Saudi oil estimates as reliable. Could it possibly be that Saudi estimates and Onion articles are cut from the same cloth?
    Apr 17, 2015. 01:36 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 15 Years Of Stimulus: Nothing To Show [View article]
    Reagan's lasting legacies were increasing the national debt at the highest level ever and illegal attempts to avoid laws (Iran-Contra). The Soviet Union was economically collapsing under its own weight (as arguably Russia is now). To ascribe it's demise to any Reagan actions is akin to the rooster taking credit for the sunrise.

    That, and it's important to remember that bubble-head Nancy Reagan (after consulting her astrologer) was the de-facto decision maker during much of "Ronnie's" term -- he mostly sat in the corner drooling and trying to remember what day it was.
    Apr 17, 2015. 11:47 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 15 Years Of Stimulus: Nothing To Show [View article]

    Most sources place Reagan's IQ (pre-impairment) at 105, though I find no information regarding when it might have been tested, or by whom. Nor is IQ a very scientifically-based method of categorizing mental acuity. Effects of mental disease on the other hand are much better defined, and Reagan exhibited them in spades with continuing degradation as his terms of office elapsed.

    Making a speech that is "pro-America" is not a measure of intelligence. More recently, "W" made plenty of speeches that were "pro-his-version-of-the US" and he was obviously a drooling idiot.
    Apr 16, 2015. 12:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 15 Years Of Stimulus: Nothing To Show [View article]

    Citizens United -- money is not speech.

    trickle-down -- true it was not the designated name given, nor was Reaganomics, nor was Star-Wars, but all are well-ingrained in the social consciousness and represent a collection of individual laws and programs that had no official name.

    mentally-incompetent Reagan -- recent examinations of his verbal and written communications have demonstrated continual degradation of his mental processes over the 8 years he was in office.

    oligarchy -- the definition fits perfectly with what we are evolving towards; in the case of the US, the group category would be "wealth" (though "family ties" is becoming a disgusting designator as well):
    From Wikipedia:
    Oligarchy (from Greek ὀλιγαρχία (oligarkhía); from ὀλίγος (olígos), meaning "few", and ἄρχω (arkho), meaning "to rule or to command")[1][2][3] is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people. These people could be distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, education, corporate, religious or military control. Such states are often controlled by a few prominent families who typically pass their influence from one generation to the next, but inheritance is not a necessary condition for the application of this term.
    Apr 15, 2015. 12:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Coffee May Start Percolating Again Soon [View article]
    Here's hoping you're right about the bottom. I picked up JO in early March after a tumultuous drop @ 22.9988; closed today @ 23.63. I figured if it went much lower they'd have to start giving the stuff away. It's been pretty much flat since then if you discount my lucky buy price. But it does seem to be forming a base, and is just looking for a reason to go up.

    From the "Magnificent Seven":
    Vin: Reminds me of that fellow back home that fell off a ten story building.
    Chris: What about him?
    Vin: Well, as he was falling people on each floor kept hearing him say, "So far, so good." Tch... So far, so good!

    Of course I'm looking for a different outcome than the one that story describes was going to happen!
    Apr 13, 2015. 08:33 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 15 Years Of Stimulus: Nothing To Show [View article]
    The word I used was "inequities", not "inequalities" -- your comments on the amount of taxes you are paying reinforce my point. Those at the top pay relatively nothing, pushing the burden down onto the middle and lower classes like you.

    Do you have a point to make or argument counter to my statements, or do you just engage in ad-hominem attacks?
    Apr 10, 2015. 12:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What's The Culprit Behind Recent Retail Sales And Jobs Weakness? [View article]
    The weather, strikes, and such are noise. The longer-term signal is that human employment will continually decline as machines take over more and more varied tasks. We are already at the stage where manual work can only compete against machines at third-world compensation rates.

    The downtrend/stall of long term consumer spending is a result, not a cause of economic activity, and varies from one country to another, depending upon the degree to which the populous has influence on the government. In the US, the conversion of the form of government from a democratic republic to an oligarchy as represented by events like the "Citizens United" decision by the SCOTUS accelerates the rate at which wealth accumulates at the level of the ruling oligarchs leaving less for the rest of society to save/spend.
    Apr 10, 2015. 12:21 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 15 Years Of Stimulus: Nothing To Show [View article]
    There are still far too many tax inequities resultant from the "trickle-down" policies introduced during Stockman's time with mentally incompetent Reagan for the economy to recover. The transfer of wealth from the lower and middle classes to those at the top continues apace just as those policies were designed to achieve, and the government has transformed ever closer to being a pure oligarchy. "Citizens United" was just about the last nail in the coffin of the democratic republic that was designed to be the USA.
    Apr 8, 2015. 11:48 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Russia Weather Woes Raising Wheat Prices [View article]
    "The grain belt in Russia and eastern Ukraine is suffering through drought and now below-normal cold."

    Not to mention being ground into the dust by tank and armored personnel carrier treads! What farmer is going to want to put his combine out in the field to serve as a practice target for a bunch of vodka-swilling Russian tank commanders?
    Apr 1, 2015. 12:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Adding Apple To The DJIA Makes It A Good Investment [View article]
    I agree that the weighting of the SPY or for that matter the QQQ is also skewed illogically. But they are much less so than DIA, and being skewed in favor of market cap at least makes a little sense. Skewing based on stock price as in DIA makes no sense at all.
    Mar 24, 2015. 07:56 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Adding Apple To The DJIA Makes It A Good Investment [View article]
    The Dow Industrial Average (and therefore its derivative, DIA), because of its price weighting, is one of the least logical of all the ETF investable indices. No one will ever present a convincing argument that a move in the heaviest weighted component (right now Goldman Sucks) should exert more than seven times the effect of a move in the lightest weighted (right now General Electric). The Dow's only saving grace is that it is an accumulation of some of the largest market capitalization stocks that are likely to mirror, albeit in a distorted manner, the market direction in general. If one really wants to mimic the market in general using a "buy and hope" strategy such as the author suggests, SPY (the ETF based on the S&P 500) is a far better choice.
    If the DIA was weighted according to market cap, it might make a bit more sense. But the limitation to 30 stocks is always going to dictate that the view is distorted and that changes in the components (like the latest substitution of AAPL for T) is going to make it reflect something significantly different moving forward from the day after the substitution than it would have without the substitution. This distortion is less applicable to the indices that have many more component tickers.
    Mar 24, 2015. 11:39 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • '60 Minutes' Tackles Rare Earths [View article]
    Disclosure: I own a small position in UURAF

    It's a penny stock and not yet turning a profit. Investigate with that in mind! I personally think it's less risky than Molycorp -- though I'd have been pleased as punch to have gone to bed last night with MCP in the ports! Momentum and mania beat fundamental analysis every time!
    Mar 23, 2015. 12:45 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment