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Leftfield

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  • Wall Street Breakfast: GM Testimony, Citigroup Settlement, Immigration Crisis [View article]
    "Oddly enough I do think millions of new citizens who vote a particular way does benefit some in Washington.....I honestly believe this is the story behind all these contrasting views and has little to do with desire to help and be humanitarian."

    Bingo!
    Jul 9 09:06 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Reasons Today's Environment Is Not Like The 1970s [View article]
    The 70's featured a US that was the world's greatest creditor. Now it's the all-time king of debtors in a world awash with staggering sovereign debtors. Hence, how much more "dry powder" aside from more printed or ponzi-financed can there be for Washington to hyperspend on additional crisis or merely to keep the same dreary joke of a New Normal "recovery" going that requires at least hundreds of conjured $billions to come from somewhere every year?
    Jul 9 08:27 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Seadrill cancels $1B debt issue after steep slide in share price [View news story]
    Been a lot of pump articles on SDRL lately, lauding it's spending-intensive acquisition of more and newer everything for all occasions. The dump may have come prematurely as it did spike the latest binge in company plans.
    Jul 9 08:06 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: GM Testimony, Citigroup Settlement, Immigration Crisis [View article]
    "So who buys Greek bonds for 'just under 3%'?"

    Behind the curtain no doubt stand the CB's working together orchestrating the Great Ponzi to it's final crescendo. Low rates for all who are deemed systemically important so there is even more fundamentally worthless and unbacked financial paper for mega financiers to leverage and dump onto the taxpayers when it eventually fails.
    Jul 9 07:54 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: GM Testimony, Citigroup Settlement, Immigration Crisis [View article]
    "President Barack Obama has asked Congress for $3.7B in emergency funding to deal with an influx of Central American minors illegally crossing the southern border."

    Sure, what's a few more printed or borrowed $billions or $trillions on the backs of taxpayers these days, but they still buy a lot of groceries. And we are constantly reminded that besides a few Constitutionally legitimate functions, government is primarily of parasites and for parasites, against which we must be continually on guard.
    Jul 9 07:09 AM | 27 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • eBay: Bargain Or Bust? [View article]
    "I personally think the defect rate metric is a positive addition for both buyers and sellers as it will ensure a better experience for buyers and increase the credibility of sellers."

    Really, the idea is that many sellers will no longer receive 2% top seller discounts on their 10% fees (plus 4% Paypal fees). Now if a buyer opens a case regardless of whether it is found meritless, it counts against the seller as do 3's (out of 5) in detailed seller ratings for several categories as left by the buyer. And these cases are opened by simply selecting "item not as described" out of several categories and are thus often opened when the buyer mainly intended to ask some questions.

    This will pad quarterly results for a few cycles on the backs of small sellers, which is the main goal. Regarding a better buying experience, large resellers of cookie-cutter Chinese mass-merchandise won't be affected much, only the smaller sellers of unusual items which made the site unique whom Ebay is clearly contemptuous of since John Donahoe became CEO.
    Jul 7 06:03 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • eBay: Bargain Or Bust? [View article]
    "Isn't what is occurring on eBay what basically occurred in physical stores as Walmart has grown and eliminated business??

    Actually Ebay has shrunk enormously relative to it's competitors over all timeframes and against e-commerce generally. Hardly an apt comparison to Walmart which does not simply provide a platform for 3rd-party vendors who handle all merchandise, shipping and packaging.

    Which is inherently a really nice cash cow business, hard to really mess up or this upper management would have. But there is no business requirement to act as a predatory shark to small sellers simply because a company is larger and can get away with it. The kind of business practices that has alienated millions of former and present small sellers has eliminated the intense viral support they once provided while Ebay lurches on with unimaginative efforts to lure the same larger vendors that appear everywhere else.

    And tales such as Gedankonomist depicts above about the treatment sellers receive that are inevitable with any sustained contact with Ebay and Paypal which range from amazingly annoying and wrong, to serious enough to air on 60 Minutes show a corporate culture that will find ways to underachieve no matter how many Ebay apologists try to minimize the ugliness under Darwinian "survival of the fittest" mantras.

    Sure, Ebay can get away with a lot with small sellers, but their results are not stellar considering the advantage they had as first mover with a very lucrative platform.
    Jul 3 12:00 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bulgaria's Strange Bank Run [View article]
    "Lending money for productive purpose is financial leverage to the upside. Most people don't need all their money "on demand", and are pleased to earn interest, and have it stored safely."

    Yes, productive purposes was the original stated intent. Now it's ZIRP for TBTF's and oligarchs to leverage in financial schemes on paper issued with or without a real income stream that have only upside for them and no downside, and teaser rates for governments to squander like there is no tomorrow.

    Bail-ins and forced purchases of government bonds are the future for the average Mom and Pop saver, while interest rates if any are held below the rate of inflation. Stored safely? That's getting more questionable.

    The fractional reserve fiat money and banking system has been well and truly hijacked by the politically connected regardless it's allegedly beneficial premise.
    Jul 2 10:00 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can General Motors' Mary Barra Deliver On Her Plans? [View article]
    This morass of bureaucratic ineptitude and blame-passing by the government-approved upper management of taxpayer-subsidized GM demonstrates just how wrong it was to bail that company out instead of letting the market clean it out.

    Preserved in place, besides a ridiculous overhead of excessive and ridiculously-compensated UAW parasites is this rotten and bloated bureaucracy and BOD that should have been eradicated when the consequences of generations of ineptitude and turpitude finally caught up with them. Now as a government ward (they still owe us $10 billion) Mary Barra is trying once again to convince the public that rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic is going to be an effective solution for GM. It isn't.
    Jul 2 08:46 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bulgaria's Strange Bank Run [View article]
    Interesting that the subject of this article seems to be virtually nonexistent elsewhere. At a time when Spain and other obvious financial miscreants can now borrow for even less than Uncle Sam Ponzi, this run on "well-capitalized" Bulgarian banks is surely a subject all investors and savers should know about.

    If it's not part of the oligarch-approved program and hasn't gone viral, certain subjects will remain mostly unreported. It is likely deemed important that depositors in the US and elsewhere remain convinced of multi-$trillion printed and debt-financed "recovery" as long as possible and thus unaware that officially-designated "well-capitalized" banks" under our fractional reserve system are a just another crap shoot under adverse conditions.
    Jul 2 08:27 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Review Of 'The Systems View Of Life: A Unifying Vision' By Capra And Luisi [View article]
    Apparently we're left with only two bad choices: The statists who tirelessly advance computer modeled projections requiring vast increases in government and academic planning elevated to the status of religion by progressives such as man made climate change, or the more corporatist kleptocrats who are quite able afford their government and academic "partners" as a cost of doing business since their business as aided by our corrupt "representatives" has never been better.

    That leaves the rest of us holding not only the sovereign debt bag which will explode when interest rates get frisky, but the costs of all the manipulation and theorizing that never works in the real world without massive new overruns and government programs to manage "unintended consequences." These will be born by producers and ordinary taxpayers without much positive effect except to the direct recipients of grants, checks, bailouts, bonuses and career opportunities for their skills in hucksterism or by just riding opportunities that arise from artificially-induced demand for nonsense skills and activities such as is provided in the evergreen world of bureaucracies and academic grants supporting either the status quo or the "alternative" status quo which, bottom line, ends up about the same.
    Jun 29 02:02 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Philip Morris: The Dividend Will Eventually Be At Risk [View article]
    "The government will tax e-cigs and vaping products when it all shakes out."

    If the process of government getting it's cut from the internet has any relevance, the e-cig business may have some years of major growth before taxing takes place by which time incumbent players become permanently reduced if not bankrupt in some cases.
    Jun 29 07:36 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Philip Morris: The Dividend Will Eventually Be At Risk [View article]
    This is true disruption by a product so threatening to the traditional tobacco industry that it cannot win either way: It cannot compete in without slashing it's traditional lush returns because they can no longer administer any price increase necessary to pad profits to it's addicted clientel via tobacco or e-cigs.

    The ridiculous vaping products PM is belatedly planning to offer only underscore the company's travails, since these are uncompetitive and resemble something the Politburo might have imposed on it's captive citizens. These won't succeed in real market situations and their inadequacy shows a disconnect from reality by PM management that is disturbing.

    Someone has to say it: PM is now a value trap.
    Jun 27 06:03 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Central Banks Buying Stocks - The Beginning Of A Major Trend? [View article]
    Banksters, insiders, front runners, TBTF's and elites of every bent are proving there is no step they won't take or manipulation they won't make to insure the continuation of the Great Ponzi and that they continue to perch at the top of the economic and political ladder.

    There really will be no limit to worldwide National Socialism, it appears since 2008, and with the proliferation of surveillance technology and hair-triggers for the imposition of martial law, we had better all line up and salute the incumbent kleptocrats because otherwise eventually many more may be lined up for something else.
    Jun 27 05:25 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • eBay: Bargain Or Bust? [View article]
    "Current users of eBay and Amazon won't make a shift unless they have a significant incentive to do so, and both companies are innovative enough to grasp on to their customers."

    Well actually, with 11Main.com on their doorsteps courtesy of Alibaba, the fast-rising gorilla in the space, Ebay and Amazon will soon need to reduce their exorbitant double-digit fees on sales to something far closer to Alibaba's 3-4%. That is an incentive Ebay's long-abused small sellers and Amazon's similarly-gouged sellers won't have the smallest problem grasping.

    Ebay was once far larger than any of it's competitors; it was, in effect, e-commerce for the public. It has a vision-afflicted management that gropes incessantly for revenues for it's quarterly bonuses while stepping on it's formerly most viral supporters, small sellers via excessive costs and rule changes that have alienated this massive advantage and base and kept it's growth rate below e-commerce generally for years. Under this benighted, greedy management the young have moved elsewhere as other sites surpass Ebay both for e- commerce and no doubt soon, for online payments
    Jun 25 01:56 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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