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  • Five Major Underreported Economic Threats [View article]
    "When socialist ratholes collapse, it is BULLISH...not bearish."

    If only that description wasn't hitting so close to home in the US, which has rather quickly slipped from first or second place to 17th in Frazier economic freedom rankings. Even as objections to creeping socialism at the top and bottom become more marginalized amidst talk of official statistical "recovery."

    Dodd Frank is merely the latest, along with ACA, of the arcane, maddengly opaque work product of the "best and the brightest" who profit from creating the dark places that enable cronyism along with providing plagues of lawyers, accountants and bureaucrats an optimum environment for their own kind to proliferate in. How many more obstacles to freedom and economic common sense by these vast exercises in authoritarianism and dysfunction can US society take before it is no longer even possible to refer to it's "freedom" and "prosperity," let alone "recovery" that are becoming more hollow with every overwrought new rule, law and misguided overregulation?
    Jan 15 10:49 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Amazon Kindle Is No Apple iPad Killer [View article]
    "We don't understand fully how large-scale asset purchase programs work to ease financial market conditions."
    "Certainly, Amazon stock has benefited as one receptacle for speculative capital."

    Yes, it's been party time on Wall Street, and this has reached a crescendo in the last year or so courtesy of Federal Reserve hot money creation directed specifically at asset inflation. Hence, the likes of Amazon, Facebook, Netflix and many other minimally profitable, head-scratchingly overvalued names are priced to hype and momo for as long as this version of the financialists' game lasts.
    Jan 15 10:13 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I've Turned Bullish On Gold [View article]
    Very helpful analysis of PM's, wherein they are likely to bounce from here due to either of two scenarios playing out: As safe havens from monetary upheaval or from appreciation due to growth in the world economy. Either one will produce an inflationary bias in real assets which may finally reward patient investors who have been lately left out of the QE paper asset reflation boom.

    Of course, commodities in general may depend more on industrial pickup and could suffer in another Wall Street implosion which cannot be papered over successfully by adding more zeros to Western sovereign debt yet again. Unlike PM's which may benefit from serious economic downside as well as upside.
    Jan 9 10:54 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C. Penney Q4 Guidance: A Massive Overreaction To Making The Quarter [View article]
    "This is a hair ball where one could lose one's shirt, however so was BBY a couple of years ago when Amazon was about to eat it alive."

    Except that JCP has Macy's, Target, Walmart and countless other major league competitors in bricks and mortar whereas BBY mainly competes only with Amazon.

    Went to the remaining JCP at a major local mall recently (the nearer one has been boarded up since midyear despite company claims at the time that no stores were shut down) and the lack of choices of merchandise was obvious. I had to make purchases at Macy's despite giving JCP a chance. The company seems to be having difficulty filling those open spaces Johnson created with salable merchandise even though the local closure potentially freed up significant stock in this immediate area.

    Did Johnson hide even worse results than reported simply by reducing orders, while extolling newly spacious store layouts that were actually a ruse to hide reduced costs in merchandise stocked?
    Jan 8 06:02 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    "Global warming doesn't necessarily mean that everywhere on the planet is going to get gradually warmer, some areas could actually get gradually colder."

    This brings us to the real point of Al Gore et al: Let's make sure we expand government in the name of "climate change" as they now call it, by funding a huge budget for global warming and an equal budget for global cooling. These budgets would constantly increase, like almost all government spending, and this - enlarging the scope and size of government - would accomplish their real goal.
    Jan 8 10:28 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft: Buy And Be Glad Mulally Isn't Taking Over [View article]
    "While Mulally's ability to build a cohesive corporate culture is useful, many individuals have that capacity."

    Precisely wrong. Corporate cultures tend to become riddled with procedure-oriented and otherwise value- and time-wasting drones and hacks and when the CEO is one him/herself, or is afflicted with any of many other forms of self-admiring grandiosity, the corporation reverts to the mean, of mediocrity or worse.

    Microsoft has had many years and many $billions to fritter away so it has had extra opportunities to develop an advanced case of top-down paralysis by bad management and no doubt this has suffused the entire corporate culture.

    Steve Jobs, while far from perfect, spared no effort to get A rather than C or D people in his company and there were ultimately inspiring results after many difficulties. Mulally seems to offer far more than expertise in limited areas, and his people skills appear to be sufficiently rigorous to get good people in place and consistently admirable results. Microsoft would have benefitted greatly from exactly the contribution Mulally would have brought to their predicament.
    Jan 8 06:48 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    "Conservatives see no real problem since they write and I assume believe, already existing programs make them 'better off than those making $20 per hour in jobs'."

    Is this supposed to be a refutation or an agreement? The sentence actually reflects the truth for many of the American "poor." Have several kids, avoid marrying, qualify for a plethora of government checks augmented by qualifying for some disability or other along with some of the kids, including rental assistance, food assistance, heating assistance, free medical care and voila! $20/hour workers are left in the dust in 2014 America. Many "poor" show energy and stamina pursuing these benefits that would be societally far better used for actual work. This is the form of "family planning" that is diligently pursued by a rather large and growing segment of the population.

    Meanwhile the diminishing membership of the former middle class sees their taxes and costs always rising with both spouses laboring to sustain their burdens along with freeloaders at the top and the bottom.
    Jan 6 02:07 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    "Just keep scheduling a new vote until you win."

    The flip side of, vote early and often.

    "In nine major financial crises in the U.S., the average drop in GDP per capita was 9% and the recovery period to the pre-crisis peak was 6.7 years. With the sub-prime crisis, per-capita GDP dropped "just" 5% and the rebound took six years." From the cheerleaders for the status quo at Harvard.

    In no other crisis did public debt double to over 100% of GDP to keep economically unviable excess government and connected interests in place while backstopping TBTF losses and providing their C-suites get-out-of-jail-free cards. This has provided a statistical "recovery" that relies on continued public debt finance and Wall Street leverage like no other while the the vapor-backed dollar faces demise as the "world reserve" currency as a result.
    Jan 6 08:44 AM | 15 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Inequality: Does It Matter? [View article]
    "This is a school of thought that says Big Business and 1% will capture government, and bend the rules so there's no "equality of opportunity"

    Jan 2 07:11 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Inequality: Does It Matter? [View article]
    Bryce - Do you often comment like this when you have no idea what you are talking about?
    Jan 2 02:36 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Inequality: Does It Matter? [View article]
    "Next year, in retirement, I will move down a quintile or two and someone else will have the opportunity to move up."

    There is a problem faced by younger generations that threatens that benign view of the US at this time, which is their lack of opportunity to "replace" workers whose numbers are being downsized rather briskly, along with their deplorable if not devastated financial prospects even as millions are burdened with often useless and outlandishly costly college degrees and college loans.

    Not to mention the rising costs of SS and every other government burden on the productive entering adulthood including the unprecedented protections and profits the upper .5% have obtained from the public till for their fraudulent financial paper, and it seems largely pointless to compare their prospects with older generations who have left them in such shambles.
    Jan 2 02:03 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Screwed Up Big Time [View article]
    "Tim Cook and Company have become blind, slow to recognize the changing, aging demographic market's desires and the accelerating, hungry competition. Give the market what it wants, not what you think it should get."

    Anyone who reads the biography "Steve Jobs," by Walter Isaacson, will be inundated with Mr. Jobs' endless obsession over details and overall user experience and how they were the core of Apple; the "Apple Way." This article rightly points out a yet another disturbing compromise by Apple by Tim Cook that Steve Jobs would not likely have countenanced.

    Steve Jobs did not make excuses for slipshod products, and if there was a problem a la "antennagate," he had the track record to be credible. He would not have released the embarrassing Maps before their time just to meet a deadline and he would almost certainly have delayed any new product if a better screen could be made available as a result.

    A short-term corporate corner-cutting for quarterly bonuses mentality is almost impossible to avoid running any publicly traded company replete with overcompensated hacks at the top, and Apple may well be falling into this familiar trap that almost all inspiring out-performers eventually succumb to.
    Jan 1 07:04 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Jeff Immelt Of General Electric A Great CEO? [View article]
    "Comments about GE's performance over the last 25, 50, or 100 years have nothing to do with THIS's not about Reg Jones or Jack Welch, any more than it is about Thomas Edison."

    Thankyou for bringing that element of sanity to the discussion. It doesn't help Immelt's case at all if the best ideas that his defenders can come up with is that GE has had some great history regardless that it came about mostly before Immelt, and by equating the observation that he lacks observable results heading the Jobs Commission with slandering our President.
    Dec 31 03:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Jeff Immelt Of General Electric A Great CEO? [View article]
    How about Immelt's tenure as czar of Obama's risible Commission on Jobs Creation? "Jobs creation" results don't seem to have perked up much as measured by total employment since he took those reins either; time to look elsewhere and put him out to pasture.
    Dec 30 04:06 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sprint/T-Mobile Merger: 6 Things You May Want To Know [View article]
    "...totally disrupt the cable/satellite/mobile business model... cut-the-cord entertainment... anything, anywhere, anytime... work or pleasure... that's where all this is going, imo."

    As with the likes of Microsoft and the cable company, and Ebay by small sellers, Verizon and ATT are hated by consumers who are aware they are being milked for every fee increase possible in every way possible and will gladly flee when the opportunity presents itself. TMobile and Sprint (which is known for awful customer relations by the way) could seize an historic opportunity here, especially if they can eventually provide services that consumers are very willing to pay premium prices for, a la Apple.

    Exploding data usage is an obvious freight train coming down the tracks which is enormously expensive to build out and serve but could provide huge returns for a successful effort that permits transformative applications for consumers, some of which are only dimly realized right now.
    Dec 30 09:39 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment