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  • Testy Tuesday: Bouncing Back To Bull?  [View article]
    Um, no, the machine is the main driver of today's "markets," and every bit of information we can glean about the manipulation and immediate technical goals of the puppetmasters sets the stage for promising trade set ups, and chart and economic analysis. We need constant reminders of the depths to which these people lower themselves as a normal way of doing business to better protect ourselves.
    Jul 28, 2015. 02:37 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Reasons The Starbucks Run Will Continue  [View article]
    Thanks for asking. If the whole Western debt ponzi collapses and millions are in real want, not just collecting government checks to stay home, watch cable TV on giant flatscreens and make babies, and entire consumer economies are forced to retrench which I fully expect, no amount of focus or management talent can grow a brand that is ultimately a nice treat but also an extra-cost frill most can do without.
    Jul 27, 2015. 09:55 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Reasons The Starbucks Run Will Continue  [View article]
    Starbucks customers find Dunkin Donuts coffee to be undrinkable swill, and their tea, the same mass market stuff found in the grocery store, same reaction. Amazingly, Dunkin Donuts customers' taste buds are so jaded that they seem to prefer their choice irregardless the price and culture difference, which would keep them away anyway.

    Starbucks stock melted down in the 2008 crash and they were widely considered a frill consumers would downsize out of their budgets for a long time. If the Bernanke/Yellen debt expansion for wealth effects formula fails the problem of expensive Starbucks offerings becoming dispensable by their customers will reappear, perhaps for a much longer time. Although the excellent focus that renewed the company upon the return of founder Howard Shultz to lofty success today may sustain them even then.
    Jul 27, 2015. 07:28 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why EPS And Share Price Don't Predict Future Performance  [View article]
    "....for example, a company with a lot of cash suddenly found its stock trading below true book value, then it would seem reasonable to use cash to buy back stock."

    Actually the timing record of US corporate stock buybacks couldn't be more dismal. They ALWAYS go all in at the top and cut way back at market bottoms. It's all driven by hype, quarterly C-suite bonuses and the Wall Street casino, and rarely is the future considered far enough with enough intelligence by these overpaid pampered windbags to deem their misallocation of corporate funds and debt as realistically "confident about future prospects."
    Jul 27, 2015. 05:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Chinese Shares Burst Government Support Dam  [View article]
    "The state gave away a LOT of money and got nothing in return - nor asked for any of the tax incentives back. Beware of the "deals" in your state. They could be just as bad."

    Among Connecticut's continuing parade of such taxpayer-screwing deals: The Connecticut Trash Authority paid Enron $220 million upfront in 2001 in a deal to generate electricity from trash for "guaranteed" monthly payments back to the state, lost it all almost immediately and raised household fees in 70 towns $50/year to make up the shortfall. The trash authority employed the same law firm to write up the deal that was also Enron's chief lobbyist in the state.

    No politician or state official received any penalty for that piece of work.
    Jul 27, 2015. 10:47 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Rude Awakening For Those Who Ignored The Energy Markets' Warning Signs  [View article]
    "One thing that hasn't reacted to lower oil prices, is gas at the pump."

    That is mostly true in your state, the People's Republic of California, which has the distinction of the nation's highest prices and I believe, the only per-gallon price over $4.00. Usual leaders in this hall of shame, Connecticut and Hawaii, have taken a rare back seat this time thanks to predatory taxes that have skyrocketed even faster in California and much faster than the actual price of the delivered product has declined.

    If US voters ever learn to shun politicians playing Santa Claus, Americans who work for a living may get a break. Unfortunately, dependency on government "largesse" is a habit that is growing, especially in over-regulated unionized tax hellholes such as California, Connecticut and Illinois, and seems set to keep expanding until the whole mess of debt and unbearable tax, fee and regulatory increases finally overwhelm what remains of the productive private US economy.
    Jul 27, 2015. 08:03 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Everyone Is Missing About IBM  [View article]
    Glenn Abrett - It may well be true that IBM retains a core of the most amazing people doing the best work anywhere. Unfortunately, the upper management makes more of an impression that it is interchangeable with any other typical major American corporate C-suite and that it would be making the same cost-cutting, quarterly bonus-enhancing moves that eventually run out of runway absent a potential major success that they might not have a clue of how to inspirationally allocate resources to cultivate into fruition anyway.
    Jul 23, 2015. 09:29 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • What Everyone Is Missing About IBM  [View article]
    "IBM has done many many transitions through its 100+ year history."

    They have the best history of major multiple comebacks of any corporation. Unfortunately, management has succumbed to the times we live in to treat employees as a commodity to be exploited, which never happened at IBM in this way before, and has taken so many other shortcuts for a last few decades that the distinction their culture once enjoyed has largely devolved into the depressing corporate hack/drone mentality that pampered US corporate managements have become all-too-adept at serving up now that middle class jobs in America have become an endangered species.

    A more recently successful leader, Steve Jobs, insisted on hiring A-list people and that makes quite a difference in success which results in a virtuous circle, or in a vicious circle in their absence. IBM is well on it's way to outsourcing and financially engineering itself into an also-ran commodity status and it may not prove able to come back with much of it's former stature this time.
    Jul 23, 2015. 08:29 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • eBay: Cash Cow Is Facing Intensifying Competition  [View article]
    Rarely mentioned in such articles such as this, which is quite informative as far as it goes, are the anti small-seller policies that John Donahoe embarked upon upon assuming the position of CEO in 2008, and how the sluggish pace of the Ebay marketplace with it's relentless fee increases, cannot be attributed strictly to outside competition when such vast internal policy changes have taken place. These policy changes must assume much of the blame for the mediocre returns the formerly pre-eminent Ebay marketplace has seen and that are projected.

    The average Ebay user purchases about $520/year. A small seller can easily purchase 100x that figure or more, but these motivated customers who could have provided viral support have instead been castigated by repeated rule changes that assume seller guilt in nearly all disputed transactions. Now permitted are complete buyer dishonesty, vandalism and even theft of sometimes high-value items along with the insult of leaving the seller with a "defect" on their ratings.

    This creates the well-known effect of seller complaints wherever Ebay is discussed. This may seem repetitious and tiresome to some readers, but the realities of dealing with Ebay on the ground are necessary components of any meaningful assessment of the company regardless that they somehow remain studiously ignored in almost all articles such as this one.
    Jul 23, 2015. 06:01 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • McDonald's Franchisees Are Unhappy. What's Next?  [View article]
    "Those that are not supportive of the changes needed at MCD have no business on the MCD team!"

    The issue is, what changes are needed at MCD and who pays and who benefits? Goose-stepping with a forced "enthusiastic" smile for the team will not work in the competitive marketplace for long if management cannot align THEMSELVES with policies that succeed, which has not been the case for a long time, and are actually perceived as fair by franchisees.
    Jul 23, 2015. 09:53 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 4 Things That Are Happening Today That Indicate That A Deflationary Financial Collapse Is Imminent  [View article]
    Or what, try the Alfred E. Neumann approach, "what, me worry?"

    That has worked for a number of highly manipulated years replete with ill-gotten infusions of $trillions of CB and taxpayer backing and ZIRP-fueled stock buybacks all to prevent market price discovery. That can't last forever and warning flags are flying as the article well and clearly points out.
    Jul 21, 2015. 01:06 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Boom, Bust And Emigration Statistics  [View article]
    Curious as to where the emigration is heading.

    The massive debts overhanging and building throughout the West are primarily to cement the power of the status quo, both of government beneficiaries, multinational and TBTF corporations and incumbent elites. Not so much investment for the future for which mostly obstacles are constantly created.

    This is what the whole Eurozone project is about. The young there and elsewhere in the West will have to find opportunity and build for their futures DESPITE all the counterproductive waste that is now wantonly generated by their selfish elders that they will be expected to pay for.
    Jul 21, 2015. 10:21 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Japan Proving The Monetary Black Hole  [View article]
    "As works of political struggle they have their interesting elements but they are not works of economics."

    No, to qualify as a work of economics these days it is necessary to extoll the virtues of crony capitalism, suppression of market price discovery, wealth effects and limitless debt for status quo interests.
    Jul 20, 2015. 10:58 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Monday Market Manipulation: Everything Is Awesome!  [View article]
    While we're at it, lines are constantly drawn on charts without even phony government inflation adjustments. Good to know that adjust figures to fluctuating values is appropriate since it has seemed a mystery to see TA charts and analyses routinely ignoring these divergences that get quite large over time.
    Jul 20, 2015. 12:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Lockheed Set To Buy Sikorsky For Over $8B  [View article]
    Greece, Puerto Rico and soon many others need loans to pay their loans even at ZiRP rates. Anytime authorities bestow upon them another ill-advised loan to make payments on their last loans, the debt crisis is reported "brought to a close." Never mind ordinary Greeks still cannot get money out of their bank accounts, nothing to see here.

    Low information voters can now move on to whatever makes them happy.
    Jul 20, 2015. 09:11 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment