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867046

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  • If Stimulus Works, How Come We Need More Of It? [View article]
    Wyatt,

    When Ray Kurzweil's singularity hits and AI's run everything, will you be happy then?
    Aug 12 05:36 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Romney's VP Choice: Good For Gold This Fall? [View article]
    The only gold might go to $2k, but not for the reasons you think. It will be because the US and Iran are in a dustup.
    Aug 12 11:25 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • If Stimulus Works, How Come We Need More Of It? [View article]
    Paul Ryan deficit hawk, does his part to stimulate the economy with congressional earmarks under a republican president:

    2008 Wisconsin Statewide Bus and Bus Facilities
    (Transportation-Housing and Urban Development)

    $3,283,000

    Rep. Paul Ryan (-WI)
    Rep. Steve Kagen (-WI)
    Sen. Herb Kohl (-WI)
    ...more

    2008

    Ice Age National Scenic Trail
    (Interior)

    $1,378,000

    Rep. Paul Ryan (-WI)
    Rep. Tom Petri (-WI)
    Rep. Dave Obey (-WI)

    2008

    Janseville City Transit System
    (Transportation-Housing and Urban Development)

    $735,000

    Rep. Paul Ryan (-WI)
    Aug 12 11:15 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • If Stimulus Works, How Come We Need More Of It? [View article]
    From Faux news:
    "WASHINGTON -- It's a massive health care entitlement with unfunded future costs over $7 trillion. Many conservatives are still upset at the way it was rammed through Congress.

    But when the Republican presidential candidates were asked last week asked if they would repeal the Medicare drug benefit, they said no way. After all, Republicans created it.

    Republicans want to pull the plug on the health care overhaul they call "Obamacare," but that law is arguably less a deficit driver than the Medicare drug plan they are defending.

    Passed by a GOP-led Congress in 2003 under President George W. Bush, the prescription program is immensely popular with older people, faithful voters who lately have been trending Republican.

    Medicare recipients pay only one-fourth of the cost of the drug benefit. Because there's no dedicated tax to support the program, the other three-fourths comes from the government's general fund. That's the same leaky pot used for defense, law enforcement, education and other priorities. It's regularly refilled with borrowed dollars that balloon the deficit....."
    Aug 12 10:54 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 6 Reasons Why Monster Stock Rally 2012 Is Right Around The Corner [View article]
    So to put it in fancy talk, some short term reversion to the mean at some local equilibrium point?
    Aug 10 11:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Initial Jobless Claims: 361K vs. 367K consensus, 367K prior revised (prior week 365K). Continuing claims +53K at 3.27M[View news story]
    Cal and Hal,

    My perception of the reality is this:

    1) Since we are so consumer driven and have appeared at least in the US to have bottomed out, it's going to take awhile for the public to get into "rally" mode.

    2) In terms of government indebtedness and things of that ilk:

    a) Right now the government is no different than corporations that are robbing the debt markets by getting long term bonds at ridiculously low long term rates. I'm not a finance guy, but I view the popular nature of these long term instruments as the equivalent of a stock holder selling covered puts on a holding at a multi-year bottom. In other words, spend when money is cheap and save when money is expensive.
    b) The argument against government debt would be credible if the market valued long term treasuries at 4% - 5%. Conversely, once LT treasuries get to that point, I would definitely be on the "lets balance our budget bandwagon".
    c) In terms of the lower standard of living argument, in a merchantilist world where everyone deflates their currency to keep their exports competitive we have to do the same. Even Switzerland tries to keep it's currency low.

    Unbelievably, I'm trying to figure out an entry point for SAN which I think would be when Greece leaves the EU.
    Aug 9 08:07 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The USPS posted a $5.2B loss in Q3, up 70% from the amount it bled last year. Despite a looming operational default, politicians don't appear to want to touch the issue in fear of cutting jobs in front of local elections. (Previous: Who loses if the USPS defaults[View news story]
    YM,

    Actually the problem is red state socialists who want Post Offices kept open in every population 200 burg.

    From the WSJ:

    "...The intensified campaign to close post offices is rankling small towns.

    "They say we'll still keep our zip code, but what is a town without a post office? It certainly doesn't seem like much of a town," said Mayor Donald Hobbs, of Lohrville, Iowa, population 468. The Lohrville post office is set to close in September after years of being the central gathering spot for this soybean and corn farming community. "We're in shock," he said.

    The postal service said in January that it would study as many as 2,000 post offices for possible closure because of issues ranging from damaged buildings to, as in Lohrville, a postmaster's retirement. Of the 1,200 ultimately selected for consideration, 300 are still being studied, 280 have been closed, and 620 are in various stages of the closing process.

    On Tuesday, the agency released a list of an additional 3,653 post offices, chosen because they get the "least amount of foot traffic and retail sales," said agency spokeswoman Sue Brennan. All told, the postal service intends to review 16,000 of its existing 32,000 post offices over the next decade for possible closure, Mr. Donahoe said.

    In many cases, the brick-and-mortar post office will change rather than vanish, he said. Under a new "village post office concept," the postal service will seek deals with grocery stores or gas stations in towns that are losing a post office to provide limited postal services. "We're finding a lot of interest with small businesses who say, 'I'll gladly sell stamps and provide package services,' " he said."
    Aug 9 07:27 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Initial Jobless Claims: 361K vs. 367K consensus, 367K prior revised (prior week 365K). Continuing claims +53K at 3.27M[View news story]
    I don't know how the doomsday crowd reconciles their outlook with projected world GDP growth of around +2% - +3%. Even if the US economy flatlines the rest of the year, it's still doing it's job. 2013 GDP is already projected to be higher.
    Aug 9 09:48 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Best Buy (BBY) looks like a steal at sub-$20 prices, according to SA author J Mintzmyer. If a buyout offer goes through at $26 a quick 30% profit could be booked - while the "real" revenue-solid Best Buy trading at 10X its forward P/E should trade at a lush $35-$38. [View news story]
    Well...

    1) Yahoo has BBY's book value at $10.73.

    2) ecommerce value: Looking at BBY's website on Alexa, BBY is the 79th ranked website in terms of traffic in the US.

    3) More Alexa info:

    "Statistics Summary for bestbuy.com
    There are 348 sites with a better three-month global Alexa traffic rank than Bestbuy.com. Compared with the overall internet population, its audience tends to be Caucasian; they are also disproportionately moderately educated women earning over $30,000 who browse from home. Its content places it in the “Major Retailers” category of sites. The time spent in a typical visit to the site is roughly five minutes, with 35 seconds spent on each pageview. Visitors to Bestbuy.com view 6.6 unique pages each day on average."
    Aug 9 08:08 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • China And Gold: A Puzzling Anomaly [View article]
    What gold bugs don't seem to understand is that:

    1) EVERY trading nation manipulates it's currency. No matter what anyone says, politically China will price it's currency to keep the export machine humming.

    2) Believe it or not, the US is still a top three exporter along with China and Europe. In a world of rampant mercantilism, currency manipulating competitors are the norm and for the US not to manipulate it's currency would be the height of stupidity.
    Aug 8 01:28 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Standard Chartered (SCBFF.PK) isn't the only one surprised by New York's publication of the Iran allegations - the Fed, DOJ and the Treasury are too. They're also probing the bank and some reportedly aren't happy with New York, which grew impatient with the inaction of the others. StanChart might have to pay up to $700M to settle. [View news story]
    "Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates bluntly told an audience of West Point cadets on Friday that it would be unwise for the United States to ever fight another war like Iraq or Afghanistan, and that the chances of carrying out a change of government in that fashion again were slim.

    “In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should ‘have his head examined,’ as General MacArthur so delicately put it,” Mr. Gates told an assembly of Army cadets here. "
    Aug 8 08:16 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Standard Chartered (SCBFF.PK) isn't the only one surprised by New York's publication of the Iran allegations - the Fed, DOJ and the Treasury are too. They're also probing the bank and some reportedly aren't happy with New York, which grew impatient with the inaction of the others. StanChart might have to pay up to $700M to settle. [View news story]
    I could see the Feds being upset if they were trying to flesh out some Iranian money laundering network and NY decided to go the hotdog route.

    British indignation at being caught sailing too close to the wind is a bit rich. Obviously on the British end someone made a political/business cost benefit decision on moving money for the Iranians and now they have to man up and accept the consequences. In particular the "It was only $14 million" argument seems especially lame given the grisly nature of the Iranian regime and the fact that American and British troops were up against Iranian auxilarys and their IED's in Iraq.
    Aug 8 07:07 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Feds are investigating whether Las Vegas Sands (LVS) breached money-laundering laws by not informing authorities about millions of dollars transferred to its casinos by a Mexican who was later accused of drug trafficking and a former California executive who was subsequently convicted of taking illegal kickbacks, the WSJ reported on Friday. The probe comes as LVS is being scrutinized for allegedly bribing Chinese officials.  [View news story]
    Lazybrain,

    The FBI is one of the agencies that make our country great. Currently, it is one of the most politically agnostic agencies there are. If you argue that Mueller is a political animal, there is nothing stopping him from back channeling to the republicans in congress. My translation of Mueller's resume is:"straight arrow". Yes he was a soldier and an officer which means he will lead by example. I don't know the guy but, I think he could work in private industry for a lot more money as opposed to being a democratic political hack.
    Aug 5 10:43 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Feds are investigating whether Las Vegas Sands (LVS) breached money-laundering laws by not informing authorities about millions of dollars transferred to its casinos by a Mexican who was later accused of drug trafficking and a former California executive who was subsequently convicted of taking illegal kickbacks, the WSJ reported on Friday. The probe comes as LVS is being scrutinized for allegedly bribing Chinese officials.  [View news story]
    Brain dead remark.

    The violation of federal law is not up to some situational political standard.

    Oh and by the way, most likely the FBI is involved and the present Director is:

    "Robert Mueller was nominated by President George W. Bush and became the sixth Director of the FBI on September 4, 2001.

    Born in New York City, Mr. Mueller grew up outside of Philadelphia. He graduated from Princeton University in 1966 and later earned a master’s degree in International Relations at New York University.

    After college, he joined the United States Marine Corps, where he served as an officer for three years, leading a rifle platoon of the Third Marine Division in Vietnam. He is the recipient of the Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation Medals, the Purple Heart, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry..."

    Not exactly the kind of resume that translates into any kind of accusation of being a political hack. So is the FBI always interested in dirty money being laundered? I would vote yes.
    Aug 5 11:13 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pimco CEO Mohamed El-Erian says the strong jobs report "is not an economic recovery game changer." The picture is still mixed, the economy is healing, but only gradually. Regardless, we won't see much from the Fed either way come September, because it lacks the tools to deal with the underlying problems. (Video)  [View news story]
    So when the job number is bad it's gospel, when it's ok to good, it gets dissected?
    Aug 4 01:40 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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