Seeking Alpha


Send Message
View as an RSS Feed
View Leftfield's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • Remember, It Was The Great Recession, Charlie Brown [View article]
    "Notably, we would not even be talking about rising interest rates if there were no signs that economic conditions are improving."

    Actually, some might argue that the sheer magnitude of the ever-rising glut of debt-paper supporting the ponzi of government entitlements and corporate stock buybacks at peak prices, rather than true income streams, will be the main cause of long-delayed rising interest rates during this cycle.

    Rather than portending a genuine economic recovery, rising interest rates will be fatal to the non-productive Western debt load that has already driven our society well past the point of any hope of solvency. We are now in the "crackup boom" phase of the "new normal" created by the debt miasma and money printing excesses of "extend and pretend," which will end in anything but a normal recovery.
    Sep 25, 2014. 10:03 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Treasury Tightens Rules To Fight Tax Inversions [View article]
    "darn -help me understand how business is being killed. CEO/exec suite compensation is outrageous."

    The answer is, there is state-sanctioned "private" oligopoly, TBTF corporations, "private" businesses which profit mainly from government contracts and influence peddling that only grows as government metastasizes. Executive compensation skyrockets and is even maintained at "prevailing levels" via taxpayer bailouts while shareholders bear the burden of fines which never personally touch upper management in the influential public/private career revolving door sectors.

    This has little to do with actual private enterprise and entrepreneurs whose compensation depends on profiting from selling a product or service at a profit to buyers acting on their free will.

    It's a game: Heads, they win, tails, we lose.
    Sep 25, 2014. 09:06 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Treasury Tightens Rules To Fight Tax Inversions [View article]
    If a VAT were added, the income tax should be eliminated. There is no use in merely reducing any government program or tax because, it ALWAYS gets expanded again later. Adding another tax must be accompanied by the complete eradication of another.

    VAT may have a huge advantage for the American economy by taxing consumption rather than income, especially if accompanied by the elimination of the Gestapo organization and tactics the IRS has used on Americans. And taxing everybody's consumption rather than selectively taxing incomes via a politically driven and insanely complex tax code would highlight to everybody the ridiculous expense government now costs Americans.
    Sep 23, 2014. 09:07 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Treasury Tightens Rules To Fight Tax Inversions [View article]
    Lots of money in M&A and then reversing it, on Wall Street. Kind of like the "business" government is in issuing programs and regulations which don't work, have "unintended consequences" and thus create a career path that is always expanding for suits in offices who should find real work instead.
    Sep 23, 2014. 08:47 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Anti-Loss Leader Policy [View article]
    "I think it is unlikely that Amazon is an incompetent retailer and it is funny to hear the peanut gallery second-guessing their strategies without any understanding of them."

    Au contraire, people are more qualified to comment about attempts made to rip them off than are the CEO's of a significant number of US corporations who are demonstrating themselves so completely cut off from the economic realities of normal US citizens and so drunk on their own personal lifestyles of the rich and famous that they are no longer able to comprehend significant details in the more ordinary lives of their customers such as limited budgets.

    Ron Johnson who ran JCPenney into the ground as CEO by alienating it's core budget-challenged customers is a highly prominent example, but Bezos of Amazon seems bent on emulating him in the minds of consumers just as this article explains, by following one of Steve Ballmer's last fatal career moves at Microsoft in setting Surface tablet prices so high they flopped, with Amazon's latest flagship devices. It will be even more disastrous for Amazon whose balance sheet cannot withstand the exodus of consumers which will result if Amazon earns a reputation of trying to pick the pockets of it's customers who are all-too-free to utllize the internet to seek the best prices, products and services no matter where they are offered.
    Sep 22, 2014. 11:13 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Amazon: An American Horror Story - A Fictional Account Of What Does Not Exist [View article]
    "The only reason AMZN stock stays as high as it is is because, as previously stated, the institutions want to sell out but not take the hit! So they keep up the bidding!"

    Prisoner's dilemna. Someday this will probably end up as a prime example of it in business class textbooks, somewhere near the Enron accounting chapter.
    Sep 21, 2014. 02:56 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Amazon: An American Horror Story - A Fictional Account Of What Does Not Exist [View article]
    Sears built it's headquarters in Chicago in 1973 which was the tallest building in the world at the time. Look what happened to the company since. Grandiosity does not necessarily bode well for the future, neither for Sears then nor for Amazon now.
    Sep 19, 2014. 01:05 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Amazon Fire Phone: A Confirmed Bust [View article]
    "Amazon have now resorted to offering huge bribes to self-published authors to go exclusive with Amazon and be in the Kindle Unlimited subscription portfolio, because all the big publishers are boycotting it."

    Interesting point. Amazon has destroyed many businesses and commoditized many others and pushback, most notably by publishers and authors, may be a crucial avenue that finally brings Amazon's levitated stock price into the world of reality. That along with the fact that Alibaba, with an approximately 3% commission on sales as opposed to the double-digit abuse charged by Amazon and Ebay to small sellers, will enter the American market and finally force those two companies to face real competition for the cash cow revenues they have taken for granted to finance their various pipe dreams.
    Sep 19, 2014. 06:21 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft: The Era Of $99 Windows Tablets Is Here [View article]
    Almost two years ago before Christmas, around the corner at the mall from the packed Apple store was a nearly deserted Microsoft kiosk with an attendant demonstrating Surface tablets. Nice-enough product but their fatal problem was the price set at iPad levels. Ballmer never understood that the world has changed since Microsoft could impose it's latest products on it's dominant captive customer base in the 1990's and that his amazingly continual product flops were largely responsible.

    Under CEO Nadella, Microsoft may finally be getting it, as these $99 tablets demonstrate. Disseminating the Microsoft brand now requires attractive pricing and given their still-massive cash cow software business, they still have a chance to retain relevance and grow despite a decade-plus series of disastrous arrogance and mistakes that would have destroyed almost any other business anywhere.
    Sep 17, 2014. 03:54 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Time To Get Out Of eBay [View article]
    Ebay's upper management under CEO John Donahoe has always been fast to milk the quick buck exploiting it's users under the cable company model rather than primarily via disruptive innovations that are of new and genuine service to customers. This is their business model, honed on first-mover status with the naturally fast-growing cash cow of their online marketplace and then Paypal built on millions of captive Ebay sellers.

    They never fast or moved beyond simply snatching the quick buck nor has the reputation of that company evolved past a destructive feature on 60 Minutes on Paypal's senseless arrogance in harming some of it's customers' careers and finances. This is a treatment Ebay issues with impunity to it's small sellers with which Apple among others, need not associate. And which leaves Ebay and Paypal soon likely to eat the dust of more large and aggressive competitors who find ways to profit through innovation and service more than by exploitation.
    Sep 15, 2014. 01:23 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Good Times, Bad Times [View article]
    Yet another point right on target in these articles. ZIRP has enabled a fracking boom to become the largest single percentage of US capex at one third despite stagnant revenues. While often cited as a great benefit, expanding interest rates and imploding consumer economics in the West may show the extent of even this economically beneficial oil boom to have been mainly another CB-engineered bubble when enough bills become due and rollovers at eventual higher interest rates become unfeasible.

    The American consumer cannot come to the rescue anymore given the extended low- and underemployment feature of this "recovery," and given the profit incentive by recipients of the "wealth effect" of policies that continue the economic strangulation of privately-employed Main Street without signs of actual recovery, their "best case" is to continue "slowly boiling the frog" of vanishing and debt-sodden middle class America until there is insufficient memory or energy among them to expect more than a government check or crumbs from the table of the rich.
    Sep 15, 2014. 08:13 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: eBay - Down 6% Since The Apple Pay Announcement, And This Is Just The Beginning [View article]
    "Here is how it applies to ebay: 20% of the customers (your small-scale sellers who sell their attic junk) caused 80% of the problems."

    Alibaba has done well enough with small sellers to come rise from nowhere to becoming larger than Ebay in a very short time. Having a snooty attitude and policies that equate small sellers with lousy sellers is an unproductive stance whose results are shown by Ebay's consistently laggard results during John Donahoe's tenure as CEO.
    Sep 12, 2014. 10:28 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: EU Places New Sanctions On Russia, U.S. To Follow [View article]
    "A smarter move would be to just lower the tax rate (For all)."

    Exactly. Low tax/regulation enterprise zones to revitalize blighted areas were a policy sometimes used in the 1980's but have been consigned to the Memory Hole because they are too broad-based to facilitate mutual back-scratching for special favors for one-off deals like Tesla's and many other large interests.

    Obviously low taxes and regulations stimulate private enterprise but our stupendously wasteful and corrupt representatives are just not interested in a true American recovery that would leave them and their cronies out of the loop.
    Sep 12, 2014. 08:22 AM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Jobs Friday---When Bubblevision Misses The Epic Failure Of The US Labor Market [View article]
    Tack - "The data suggests a huge pool of unfilled jobs due to lack of qualifications. If and until the work force is altered to offer needed skills, they can send out resumes until the cows come home."

    Multinational and TBTF corporations are well-versed in adhering to the letter of laws and requirements including those of employment, and their political stooges in government have no problem looking the other way when skilled employment slots are crafted to screen out qualified American employees in favor of cheaper immigrants. Americans who make it to final stages of actual interviews can be disposed of there.

    Just another competitive advantage major corporations and the well-heeled enjoy gaming the system since they are increasingly the only game in town vs. Main Street when it comes to buying the friendship of our political "representatives."
    Sep 11, 2014. 12:13 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Jobs Friday---When Bubblevision Misses The Epic Failure Of The US Labor Market [View article]
    Tack - "...because of that massive excess capacity, the new capital for that support can be created without inspiring much inflation. Now, of course, if we approach full capacity, then the ballgame will be entirely different..."

    Since Western labor markets have rarely been slacker yet financial paper has never been bid higher, it seems the recoveryless recovery our fixers have hit upon may be the perfect solution. They can print to the moon, provide endless profits for financialism yet never reach Main Street with a recovery. It works! at least until someone questions the taxpayer and Federal Reserve balance sheets.
    Sep 11, 2014. 09:14 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment