Seeking Alpha


Send Message
View as an RSS Feed
View Leftfield's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • What To Hold In The Face Of Deflation [View article]
    "No one likes big government. But government must be big enough to enforce the law against everyone equally."

    Actually since larger government needs larger revenues, it is at least equally as subject to kissing the feet of it's largest benefactors as is smaller government. More so, since government that becomes a larger player distorts markets and becomes a major contractor in it's own right. It's effects on the economy thus enlarged, there is more reason than ever for lobbying by status quo interests to escape regulatory control and taxes by government influence peddlers and to win contracts, creating just the unholy alliance that exists between Wall Street/multinational corporations and the US government now that has already thrown Main Street America under the bus.

    Just how big does our government be to "enforce the law against everybody equally," and just how does this alleged benefit which hasn't been much in evidence during the last century of relentless government growth, suddenly appear?
    Jan 27, 2015. 11:21 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Does Keep Cleaning eBay's Clock? [View article]
    Paulo Santos - Fees were once around 3% rather than 10%, and that 10% is now levied on shipping costs as well. Plus Paypal fees of 3%.

    Seller rules have been repeatedly and summarily changed over John Donahoe's tenure to favor the buyer almost 100%, examples of which have been documented by other comments here. There has been wide variation in the factors which can lead to seller suspension which has been a process of trial and lots of error, but this has happened to many small sellers who receive only a few officially designated "seller defects" if they happen to be a large enough percentage of their small sales numbers. Meanwhile, "feedback" to buyers is a joke since only positive comments are allowed.

    It appears lately the hurdles for sellers are being tightened in an ongoing process primarily to reap increased fees by making it now nearly impossible for a small seller to remain "above standard" and qualify for a 2% reduction. Subsidized large resellers and retailers of mass merchandise face little of the problems and misunderstandings the former Ebay base of small sellers of unique and used items cannot avoid with the occasional buyer who has remorse or misunderstood a used item that looks more used than they expected. These could be rectified with reforms that don't throw the baby out with the bath water, but working constructively with the types of individuals who made up the smashing success Ebay once was is apparently beneath the elites who run the show there now.
    Jan 26, 2015. 11:04 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Does Keep Cleaning eBay's Clock? [View article]
    "The reason for eBAY's problems is that the consumer looks for the best deals most of the time."

    Which is only one reason why it was not prudent for Ebay to axe it's small seller business and throttle the profits of the remaining ones who sell used and unique items since these don't directly compete with large retailers and resellers of Chinese products who dominate other venues.
    Jan 26, 2015. 10:28 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Does Keep Cleaning eBay's Clock? [View article]
    "If you look at the entire year's 10-k's of AMZN, it is so obviously clear that their margins are next to none due to the phenomenon eBAY has experienced. And eBAY is a better business model."

    Exactly - Ebay's business model is so good that former Ebay CEO Meg Whitman said, "A monkey could drive this train." Yet, succeeding CEO John Donahoe and his BOD have not measured up. The auction format is such a natural free-market fit and gushing cash cow for the internet platform on which Ebay was first mover that it has taken a lot of greed and incompetence to bring it down to the also-ran status it occupies today.
    Jan 26, 2015. 10:04 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Does Keep Cleaning eBay's Clock? [View article]
    Ebay has lost massive ground relative to it's two main competitors, Amazon and Alibaba, for reasons other than page and search "clutter." Rather than adapting their model to more casual users without alienating their main customers, small sellers who were once a source of intense viral support, incredible as that seems now, Ebay has made them unwelcome in every possible way while extracting hugely escalated fees in every overt and deceptive way available.

    If there is only room on the internet for two kinds of customer, the casual retail shopper and large professional retailers and resellers of Chinese products from Alibaba and the sites must reflect only this purpose, both Ebay and Amazon will both need to slice their fees considerably to compete.
    Jan 23, 2015. 01:25 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • eBay: A No-Brainer [View article]
    "Most hated companies usually perform well..."

    No, eventually it catches up to them. American upper managements have never had and used such an opportunity to extract extreme compensation from their corporations and organizations such has occurred at an accelerating pace these last few decades. Especially since the advent of ZIRP rates for stock buybacks and elevated financial assets has created the perfect brew for accelerated plunder.

    These glorified managers using MBA 103 hack policies to pay themselves as uniformly above average genius entrepreneurs are becoming increasingly divorced from their customers whom are merely sheep to be shorn or slaughtered along with their workforces. Ebay is an example of the dangers this presents as it has grown at a far more tepid pace than it's competition using CEO John Donahoe's exploitive Bain approach on it's main customers, small sellers, and this has rendered it's size and future prospects relative to it's now-formidable competition, second-rate.
    Jan 23, 2015. 10:23 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What To Hold In The Face Of Deflation [View article]
    "I don't think listening to the economic ideas that turned the 1929 Recesssion into the Great Depression represents wisdom."

    How about the idea that turned the incipient and very sharp post-WWI Depression of 1920 into a 2-year affair? Which was, cutting government spending, i.e: Waste, fraud and abuse, so the private sector could ignite a roaring recovery.

    Or how about the post-WWII slashing of wartime spending which led to the great postwar economic boom and the rise of the American middle class?

    Real value-added entrepreneurs are instinctively and rightly uncomfortable when the economic environment turns to "fixes" for and by the fixers; insiders, cronies and elites combined with a sufficient payoff to welfare loafers to buy enough votes to ensure "success." Such "solutions" have been twisted far beyond even the fevered imaginings of such collectivists as Keynes as public debt levels are artificially held at teaser rates until the trap of higher rates ratifies the insolvency that has already occurred for the West while MMT and "Keynesian" Krugmanite quacks keep up the drumbeat for more of the same policies of misplaced spending and debt that has led to the very pathetic "recovery" that is presently unravelling.
    Jan 20, 2015. 06:11 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The U.S. Hasn't 'Decoupled' And There Ain't No Giant 'Oil Tax Cut' [View article]
    "You incorrectly are using the START of the recession to describe "jobs created"... a horrible starting point that any basic economist would catch."

    SimpleData - Which economists? The ones who crowd out all others on MSM and in Washington with their endless touts of "best jobs market" and "best housing market" et al, in 5 years, which are always designed to omit pathetic comparisons with any previous norms up until 2008?

    Besides, using a later starting point to improve the relative jobs picture in non-shale oil states would serve to mask that the "recoveries" of their jobs numbers do not equal pre-2008. Thus, the points of the article which are so damning to the endless cheerleading and public debt accumulation by Western "leaders" in economically disastrous attempts to maintain looting by bloated parasitic status quo interests are correct and well-stated, as of course you mainly agree.
    Jan 13, 2015. 02:10 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sees Used Diapers In More Ways Than One [View article]
    3rd-party selling is the cash cow that has underwritten Jeff Bezos' pipe dreams and Ebay CEO John Donahoe's attempts to ape Amazon with high small seller fees and fixed prices rather than the hugely successful auctions that launched Ebay and which are a such a natural fit for the internet.

    Competition has been slow in arriving to the US but new arrivals will be assured of success given the exploitive 3rd-party selling environment Amazon and Ebay have managed to impose to date. Donahoe has finally been sent to the showers and Bezos, whose company is teetering on the brink of disaster, is sure to follow, diaper in hand, when formidable competitors who lack the arrogance the incumbent American giants have developed, force them to respond with real-world policies and seller fees.
    Jan 9, 2015. 12:39 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Economic Sense: Greece And The Euro [View article]
    The fact that a Greek default would add only 2-3% to the total debt of the EU scarcely describes the problem since the overall debt is so gargantuan and slumping Western economies can only hope to roll over existing debt while continuously adding to the already hopeless sum total of debt while hoping teaser rates last perpetually.

    Thus con-fidence is the true underpinning of the great Western debt ponzi which will be played for insider and elite enrichment until the scam is too obvious to remain viable which can easily be triggered by the likes of Greece.
    Jan 9, 2015. 12:16 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • It Depends On Where You Start [View article]
    Now we know why the "5% GDP rate of growth" headline figure for the last quarter was conjured up by the government dataheads recently. Kind of a window dressing to insert one robust figure into the brains of ADD-afflicted US voters that will insulate them from the ongoing stagnation and decline that they will soon be unavoidably hearing about, however replete with all the "weather-related" and "transitory" caveats that can be invented to sugar-coat continuing policy failures.
    Jan 7, 2015. 11:52 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Eurozone Prices Fall For First Time Since 2009 [View article]
    Bob 123 - SSDI has become a surrogate welfare program for fast-increasing numbers of claimants with squishy "disabilities" such as the perennial catchall of back injuries, and ever-elusive fibromyalgia, whose applicants reliably soar when job prospects and worker's compensation run dry.

    Taxpayers are ill-represented in the halls of government as it is, so many are willing to run the risk of appearing "stingy" if that is what it takes to advocate reducing epic abuse of programs such as SSDI as a necessary start somewhere, anywhere, to begin the long journey of returning Washington's budgets to some semblance of sanity.
    Jan 7, 2015. 10:43 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Much Further Will The Dollar Rally? [View article]
    Thanks for the interesting and notable non-correlations in the price movements of gold/dollar and in ruble/crude as well as pointing out some of the extreme sentiment and trader positioning in currencies with recent background information.

    It is information such as this that has potentially great value to readers as it aids them on their quest to become or remain, filthy rich:).
    Jan 7, 2015. 10:11 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Eurozone Prices Fall For First Time Since 2009 [View article]
    "The Eurozone is now comparatively a cheap market, especially with the fall in value of the euro. For those with patience, now is a good time to seek out the cheap stocks there, or invest in a Europe mutual fund or ETF."

    Or: The power of financialism to sustain ever-growing parasitism and plunder by insiders is meeting it's demise in the socialist paradise of Europe sooner than in the US. The fact that RIQ who has a blind spot for the almost unlimited cost-shifting from actual producers to "entitled" classes chimed in on the buy side may indicate that extra caution is needed for this dip which may be the one which cannot be "righted" by even more ponzi finance and taxpayer abuse.
    Jan 7, 2015. 08:53 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Don't Just Follow The Money - Follow The Income [View article]
    Well-conceived points that are amazingly little-noticed in these times of by far the greatest yet still-expanding debt-berg ever created, worldwide. GDP and income accounting generally should take into account whether it is propped up by debt and is shrinking even as debt expands alarmingly as it is in most of the West.

    Amazingly even though the end of ZIRP must come sooner or later, one way or the other which will make debt service by far too many nations, major corporations on share-repurchase binges and individuals either difficult or impossible, debt is studiously ignored for the existential threat it truly is at these levels.
    Dec 29, 2014. 08:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment