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  • House Speaker John Boehner blogs that Pres. Obama "is trying to set up a no-win situation for taxpayers: either he gets his $2.4T blank check, or America defaults." Sen. Harry Reid says he doesn't want a short-term deal that could cause a rating downgrade. The Washington circus is becoming "a global embarrassment," Art Cashin says.  [View news story]
    Getting a more functional Democratic Republic almost certainly depends on us getting more transparency within government. Let's just bring more power back to the states and municipalities.
    Jul 25, 2011. 12:36 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • On to Plan B: With California's fiscal year set to begin Friday, Governor Jerry Brown says he and Democrats in the legislature have closed the state's $9.6B budget gap without GOP support (though the plan assume $4B more in revenue than earlier forecasts). With no new taxes, the plan relies on one-time items - meaning that even in the best case, the can is kicked to 2012.  [View news story]
    Lives life based on magic 8-balls? Makes sense, actually.
    Jun 28, 2011. 12:44 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Evergreen Solar (ESLR -13.3%) down sharply after Massachusetts pulls tax breaks for the company following the closing of a plant and elimination of 800 jobs. The state will now try to recoup some of the $58M in incentives it gave to the firm for the Devens, MA facility.  [View news story]
    I'm not "green" and I am not "left." My father has been involved with the energy industry since '51, and I support sustainable technologies. This is an engineering mindset. Oil and coal are subsidized at the federal level. Don't just demonize new technologies because they fail to state their long-term economic advantage.

    Simple conservative logic tells me:

    By all means, diversify the energy resources as much as possible so that no single source can wreak havoc on your economy at the whim of so few global citizens. Make sure there are no subsidies for any of the following:


    Let the market figure it out, but keep in mind coal and oil have significant advantage from years of subsidies that allowed for unparalleled distribution infrastructure development.
    May 23, 2011. 01:05 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dining out will cost more this year, as restaurants are emboldened in part by the success of airlines, which have raised fares almost 10% in the past year. Several apparel companies also plan price increases to offset higher input costs. “Inflation hawks see restaurants and airlines passing through higher prices and say the Fed’s behind the curve.”  [View news story]
    Keep raising prices and they will see lower traffic. This means less people paying $2 for a soda that cost $0.10.
    May 6, 2011. 10:12 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • State policy chiefs may be getting their way as Congress considers a multistate sales tax cartel to collect money from Internet vendors - an interesting approach to the constitutional hurdles blocking a national sales tax. It's another signpost in the debate pitting "pure play" online sellers like AMZN and OSTK against brick-and-mortar firms with online operations.  [View news story]
    How about these state officials figure out how to run their governments more efficiently using the technology we've created over the last 15 years? This increased efficiency should offset the loss of sales tax revenue.
    Apr 25, 2011. 02:02 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pimco confirms that it's unloaded all U.S. government holdings, including Treasurys, in the Total Return Fund, the world's biggest bond fund. The holdings were at 12%, now zero; maybe Bill Gross isn't just talking his book. (Zero Hedge: No QE3?)  [View news story]
    Nice assessment. I hope someone can attempt to intelligently counter your claims, but it sure as hell won't be me.
    Mar 9, 2011. 12:07 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Erin Burnett doesn't take the Wall Street protesters seriously, calling them out for their use of cellphones, MacBooks, Lululemon clothing and other capitalist icons. But hedge fund manager Eric Jackson, writing in Forbes, finds Burnett's critique "vapid" - with youth unemployment at 18%, "the frustration and palpable anger on display [are] completely legitimate."  [View news story]
    Apparently, many of them do not want to participate in this economy until the problems they see are fixed. They also appear to have their own, non-overlapping issues, so this will probably never be resolved.

    Oh well, let them exercise their rights.
    Oct 5, 2011. 08:06 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Moody's Mark Zandi sees Obama's American Jobs Act adding 1.9M jobs and cutting unemployment by 1%, not far off an earlier estimate from Macroeconomic Advisers of 2.1M jobs by the end of 2013. Zandi says the plan would help in "stabilizing confidence, forestalling another recession, and jump-starting a self-sustaining economic expansion."  [View news story]
    I don't understand either, but most people's opinions seem to stem from ideological interests rather than logical.

    I'll admit I don't have a clue.
    Sep 9, 2011. 02:54 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The real U.S. unemployment rate is 12.5%, a new high and much higher than the official 9.1%, Daniel Indiviglio writes. The current way of measuring unemployment does not include those who have left the workforce temporarily but will want or need a job. If you include these people in the calculation, the labor market picture has worsened.  [View news story]
    Old Trader:
    I work with 23 contractors in the residential sector now (in an IT/ mkt/acct capacity), and they are doing lots of remodels. I realize the plural of anecdote is not data, but the HD earnings (and LOW) look like data to me.

    I also have commercial architects as contacts (those likely involved with apartment building) that use more specialty suppliers than HD. I appreciate your viewpoint, I just disagree.
    Aug 16, 2011. 06:15 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • All those folks bidding up shares of Nokia (NOK +12.5%) and RIM (RIMM +5.6%) on news of Google's (GOOG -1.8%) acquisition of Motorola Mobility (MMI +55.9%) ought to stop and think: Who would really want to spend tens of billions of dollars on either company? It's unlikely that their patent pluses outweigh their big negatives, particularly dwindling market share. (earlier)  [View news story]

    Thanks for your thoughts. Don't forget:
    "Motorola Mobility held $5.5B in cash and deferred tax assets; this could put Google's (GOOG) real purchase price around $7B."

    Also, Ellison is notably M&A-happy even though he recently said the market was overvalued (and, it's come down a bit since then). I see ORCL looking at ARMH, NVDA, MRVL, and RIMM. Again, just guessing (and knowing engineers at all those companies).

    Aug 15, 2011. 04:19 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The U.S. actually is closer to junk bond status than AAA if it were judged as a private company, Dick Bove says: "You've got a company which is losing about $1.4T this year [and] owes $14.4T... There's no likelihood whatsoever that this particular company is able to pay down from its own resources the amount of debt that it has... If that was a real company, of course, that would be a junk bond."  [View news story]
    This is getting old.
    Aug 9, 2011. 06:41 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • So the U.S. lost S&P's AAA rating for the first time in a 70-year history; so what? Mark Thoma says this is S&P erring on the only side it can after blowing the pre-crisis situation. Always pragmatic Warren Buffett says solvency's not an issue when the debts are all in currency the U.S. can print; inflation, that's another story. Ready to buy on this coming dip?  [View news story]
    TVP: You respond to 867's 4 points with a personal attack? You can't even attempt to refute what he wrote? I don't necessarily agree with 867, but your response is Bachman-like in its emptiness.

    It's fairly disconcerting that 3 people apparently agree with your comment that can be distilled down to: "Pull your head out of your ass." Brilliant.
    Aug 6, 2011. 02:07 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • S&P lowers its sovereign credit rating for the U.S. from AAA to AA+. "The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government's medium-term debt dynamics."  [View news story]
    I'm wondering where the hell you geniuses were when we invaded Iraq? I'd be interested to see any objections you held at that time (when we had a $5T deficit).

    I am skeptical, however, if you would ever reply to such an idea.
    Aug 5, 2011. 09:40 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Paul Krugman assails the media for failing to "acknowledge the one-sided role of Republican extremists in making our system dysfunctional." Making "nebulous calls for centrism, like writing news reports that always place equal blame on both parties, is a big cop-out," Krugman writes, which "only encourages more bad behavior."  [View news story]
    Yes, ad hominem attacks bring value to the discussion, and prove you are respectable and knowledgeable...
    Jul 29, 2011. 07:50 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sen. Mitch McConnell warns fellow Republicans a federal default could help Pres. Obama get re-elected if government checks are delayed, and the populace blames the GOP. The Senate Republican leader advocates a three-stage increase in the debt limit, drawing more praise from administration officials than conservatives.  [View news story]
    Show me proof of your objections to raising the debt limit the last 10 times they did it (i.e. the last 10 years), or STFU.
    Jul 13, 2011. 06:30 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment