Seeking Alpha


Send Message
View as an RSS Feed
View awallace's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • Citigroup, Argentina face off; Citi slashes CEO pay [View news story]
    This presents a set of very interesting legal questions. Argentina obviously has the ability to order Citibank-Argentina, to process the payments. Judge Griesa has the power to order Citibank-USA not to do so. The question is, Can Judge Griesa find Citibank-USA in contempt if its Argentina units process the payments under local Court orders?
    It would seem that a US Judge is powerless to control actions of a bank in another country that are taken pursuant to that nation's government or courts. The effect would be to greatly weaken any further orders that Judge Griesa might make.
    It reminds me of a case long ago in California, where a Judge on the bench issued orders, and another judge standing in the rear of the courtroom immediately made countermanding orders. That was settled by a higher court, since it was all within one jurisdiction.
    As Spock might have said: "Fascinating!".
    Mar 19, 2015. 03:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Can You Sleep At Night Holding Seadrill? [View article]
    It costs just as much to drill for oil that can sell at $50 per barrel as it does for oil selling at $100 a barrel. Therefore, the demand for oil is the governing factor, not its price, in determining whether to drill. (It may even turn out that cheap oil will increase demand). An efficient driller will be in greater demand than a less-efficient one.
    Since I get an 11% return on my investment, the decline in price for Seadrill won't influence me to sell at a loss.
    Nov 20, 2014. 03:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Can You Sleep At Night Holding Seadrill? [View article]
    Seadrill pays a dividend of 11% on the amount I paid for shares. Even a 50% cut leaves me with a decent return. Why on Earth should I sell?
    Nov 19, 2014. 01:14 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Chevron (CVX) issues an ultimatum to Argentina, saying it will not make any progress on an agreed joint venture with YPF until a court threat to its assets is lifted. "We’d like to work with them," CVX vice chairman George Kirkland tells FT, but "this is our money." The tough line hurts the government’s hopes of forming a partnership with a top global oil company to help develop its vast shale reserves. [View news story]
    Argentina has shown that it cannot be trusted to keep its word, by the pending case on its bond payment, and its continuing (and recently overwhelmingly defeated) claim to the British Falklands. Chevron would do well to stay away from investment of any money in such a country.
    Mar 13, 2013. 03:27 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 20 Signs The U.S. Economy Is Heading For Big Trouble In The Months Ahead [View article]
    Some people see the doughnut, others see only the hole. As J.P. Morgan once said, "The market will continue to fluctuate".
    Feb 23, 2013. 02:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Chevron (CVX) loses its appeal in Argentina against asset freezes to enforce an Ecuadorean judgment for it to pay $19B in damages for environmental pollution. Even as CVX has refused to make any payments and accuses Ecuadorean courts of fraud, it may need to spell out the impact of the decision in its upcoming financial statements or risk violating SEC rules. [View news story]
    The best, and perhaps only, way that an American company can safely do business in Latin America, is through separately-formed, (and remotely owned) corporations, who lease or rent their equipment in turn from out-of-the-country corporations, and who disburse their income over and above expenses promptly to banks in other countries where legal proceedings are less corrupt, and less subject to the dictatorial governments.
    Jan 30, 2013. 11:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Chevron (CVX) says a former Ecuadorian judge revealed he and a colleague let plaintiffs lawyers ghostwrite their own $18.2B judgment against it in exchange for a promise of $500K. The bribery charge is new, and the ghostwriting charge is more sweeping and better substantiated than before. But CVX isn't totally off the hook, as the judge says CVX paid him for physical evidence he turned over. [View news story]
    It appears that the Ecuadorian judiciary could greatly benefit from lessons in honesty and integrity, matters apparently sadly lacking at present.
    Jan 28, 2013. 05:09 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Chevron: Lawsuit Will Weigh Heavily On Long-Term Value [View article]
    Unless required by treaty, courts of one nation need not respect or enforce judgments of courts of another nation. Since the government of Ecuador released Texaco from further responsibility, and serious questions about corruption within the court rendering the present judgment, Chevron properly contests it. I am, however, surprised that Chevron has not formed separate corporations in every country where operations are conducted. That way, its assets in other countries would not be subject to a judgment against the .local business. As for physical assets, they could be owned by another corporation, and rented or leased to the operating business, exempting them from liability for the operator's debts.
    Jan 7, 2013. 11:15 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Fed is reportedly discouraging the top U.S. banks from making large acquisitions as it informally uses powers it received under the Dodd-Frank Law and attempts to limit the ability of banks to threaten the stability of the financial system should they fail. Those told not to make major purchases include Capital One Financial (COF) after its $9B acquisition of ING's U.S. online business. [View news story]
    A question: Should government bureaucrats, un-elected individuals, be allowed to dictate the business practices of corporations? It is but a short step from telling a bank "Thou shalt not buy..." to telling it, "You must buy this...". There is nothing in government employment that confers superior business judgment on that individual. We have laws to prevent cartels and monopolies, as well as collusion (anti-trust), which work well. Just how far into the business decisions of companies should the government be allowed to go?
    Think far ahead as to what this means, before agreeing or disagreeing.
    Dec 12, 2012. 12:41 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Keynesian Depression [View article]
    Having looked through the article and comments above, I conclude that whatever we do will have adverse results for America. Human nature will invariably find a way to twist any theory in the wrong direction.
    Dec 10, 2012. 01:23 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Keynesian Depression [View article]
    This Truth is understood by so few, especially politicians.
    Dec 10, 2012. 01:16 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Keynesian Depression [View article]
    Mr. John S. Gordon says Scandinavians are said to be the happiest residents of he planet. By whom?
    Dec 10, 2012. 01:02 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Keynesian Depression [View article]
    What economists ignore is the perversity of human nature. It will ignore their preaching and theories and insist on acting in the perceived best interests of each individual. This often is contrary to the economists theories.
    Dec 5, 2012. 01:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Key Metrics That Show Why We Can't Avoid Recession [View article]
    If the government can print all the dollars it wants, it has no need to take dollars from the taxpayers. What the printing of money does to the worth of each dollar it prints and those in the hands of the people is dictated by the unrepealable law of supply and demand. The result is an increase in the cost of goods and services to the buyers, i.e., inflation. (Note that the government is also a buyer). I am unable to follow Mr. Kramer's reasoning, so I will continue to follow my own.
    Dec 5, 2012. 01:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Key Metrics That Show Why We Can't Avoid Recession [View article]
    On December 3, Mr. Kramer replied to my post by saying, "How is lending $1000 to the US Government for 10 years at 5% interest different from promising the US Government you will not spend $1000 for 10 years if the government pays you $50 per year?".
    Point 1: I no longer have the $1000 to spend, the government has it to spend.
    Point 2: In my hands, the $1000 would be spent on goods or services, and that transfer would result in taxable income, a portion of which is paid to the government.
    Point 3: The $1000 spent by the government is not necessarily spent on production of goods and services that result in taxable receipts to a taxpayer.
    Point 4: The corollary is that a "promise not to spend" is counter-productive to the economy of the nation.
    Point 5: The $50 per year reduces my ability to spend (per point 2) significantly.
    Point 6: Lending $1000 to the government at least provides a reasonable return. "Refraining from spending" is counter-productive to the economy, the government, and my own best interest.
    That, to me, is a significant distinction between the two situations.
    Dec 4, 2012. 03:10 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment