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  • How The End Of GE Capital Also Kills The Core Conservative Talking Point About Dodd-Frank [View article]
    Bush might have asked "probing questions," but what matters most are the results He left the US economy in shambles and close to a full blown depression. What you call "mocking Bush's intelligence" is merely telling the truth about him. No one needs to exaggerate Bush's failures. They are all factual.
    Apr 14, 2015. 01:02 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How The End Of GE Capital Also Kills The Core Conservative Talking Point About Dodd-Frank [View article]
    rorty threw quite a bomb here, but he was spot on, and all for the good. I find it quite difficult to compartmentalize economics/finance and politics and separating them as if they didn't mesh or impinge each other. I'm also a GE stock owner, and I appreciated knowing what was going on behind the scenes at GE. Most of us read the accounts regarding the banks, but I was not fully aware of how much GE was involved. It seems as if the media gave them a pass. Most of the bad press went to the banks, to GM, When TARP began, the American taxpayers had to fess up and pay for GE's mishaps as well as the affected banks, including many foreign banks, from taking us all down which could have set off another great depression.

    I'm fairly certain that rorty probably knew that his article was going to set off a firestorm with more than a few people. Writing such an article, albeit one that is politically charged, is an exception rather than the rule at SA. But, I choose to favor it, not only because it's worthy of understanding my investment in GE, but it also reminds us that we're not investors working as a separate entity which has no connections to politics and our governments.

    GE's investment philosophy, no doubt, is guided by what our politicians and governments do. In fact, virtually every business firm, keeps an eye on political events, whether a particular party will favor the business community or Main St.. So far, as it seems to me, the corporatists have taken over. But, they should not feel that they can't be toppled. America is one of the most violent societies in the world, and it was borne out of a revolution.

    I was fortunate to have a fundamental history of the markets, and it's because of SA and other financial websites that provided me with much information and education from many exceptional persons with deep financial knowledge that kept me in the markets. But it also scared many investors and most Americans who felt confirmed that the markets were rigged against them. The markets lost many people who were turned off by Wall St.

    By selecting many worthy stock/mutual fund investments, I saw them all take the big hit during the Great Recession. My fortunes went downhill because Wall St. played a casino game with mortgage derivatives. Just imagine how many people got hurt, and if you were in retirement, you were doubly hurt. But, I sat on my investments and didn't sell any of them because I knew that things would only get better, in time. Also, I bought more stocks which I still own today.

    Personally, I pay attention to what our politicians and governments are doing in our behalf. Do I favor trickle-down, "laissez-faire," theories of economics or do I favor an economic system wherein our governments play a major social part? All of them are not infallible. All of them affect my investments.

    GE is truly a great industrial company. They are world-wide in scope, and they are closely tied to our defense industry. If our federal government is going to cut back or increase federal defense spending, then I really need to know this information. I need to know what our politicians favor regarding federal spending.

    As for Dodd-Frank, Wall St., the banks, GE, and the auto industry, all have themselves to blame for its passage. Main St. should never be used again to bail out these business entities for having failed on their own. Even D-F is no guarantee that we'll find ourselves in another pickle down the road. D-F has yet to be fully implemented, and while there be some flaws in it, I would rather have it then not.

    Whether I watch CNBC, Bloomberg, or FBN, all them feature politicians and government officials of every political persuasion for interviews. I pay attention to their business philosophies and ideologies just as much as I pay attention to all the guest interviewees whether they are CEO's, analysts, economists, Now, if I don't like what I'm hearing, it's so easy to turn the channels, or just tune them out altogether.

    I'm pleased that SA allowed rorty's piece to run. It's created quite a buzz, good and bad. It can be quite an emotional piece for some, but they can choose to ignore it if it hurts so badly.

    Apr 13, 2015. 05:09 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How The End Of GE Capital Also Kills The Core Conservative Talking Point About Dodd-Frank [View article]
    What a laugher! Bush didn't have a clue about economics. His presidency from the beginning was stagnant and floundering, economically. 911 came along and rather than to fight the people who committed it, he decided to find someone and a foreign country to blame. So, the easy thing to do was to create a war of choice against Iraq. That would get the economy rolling again. Bush's economy was a house of cards ready to crumble which came to screeching halt in 2007. And it went downhill very fast causing what is known as Bush II's, Great Recession. So, you're telling me that Bush II "understood complicated questions of economics without any need for dumbing it all down."

    Bush II cut taxes for the rich. At the same time he financed his war of choice by borrowing from China. Then he passed his Medicare Drug program without paying for it. All this while he was out there being quite vocal hyping citizens to buy homes. And no one was paying attention to the fraud that was going on in the mortgage markets. He had a lot of help from Greenspan who sat by doing nothing to try to stop the easy mortgages.

    All of the above, and I've yet to mention that Bush's business firm, Arbusto, went belly up. But, thanks to his daddy, he used family connections to eventually set himself up. He didn't do it by his own personal, bootstraps, or his financial smarts. TARP came about on his watch too, but that's another story too.

    Please, no more fairy tales about Bush II. But, I will agree with you. Clinton was short on economics and finance. He screwed up royally by signing the repeal of Glass-Steagall.
    Apr 13, 2015. 01:46 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A New Way To Follow Your Favorite Seeking Alpha Authors [View article]
    NC, I hear you! Here's something for SA to think about:

    If you would really like to subscribe to more than one premium contributor, then perhaps, you might get the powers that be to think about offering some discounts on multiple premium subscriptions? Now, this service will begin with twelve premium contributors, but I'm also believing this number will not remain static. Others may wish to join the premium club, and yes, I do think discounts will work if you're going for more than two or more than three, maybe even more. But let's not jump to any fast conclusions.

    First, I would like to see the original setup work, if its successful, then you can take a few steps at a time. Part of what I see here is that if there's an exclusive premium club, others may wish to join, and I would not like to lose others who would want to join, and if not given the chance, they may take their marbles and move elsewhere. I know there are quite a few more than twelve who are equally as good in many other areas of expertise. The object here is to retain top notch expertise, not lose them.

    Another area which has not been mentioned is if one or two of the twelve can attain a high level of success, and if one wishes to leave SA to setup his own private service, does that person take his subscribers with him? The devil is always in the details of such ventures.

    I don't know if any premium fees have been fixed in stone, and whether one can get a monthly rate, or a yearly rate. Here again, I can see a higher fee for a monthly rate and a lower fee for a yearly rate. Also, how about a teaser rate?

    Now, I've only touched upon a few items to consider, and perhaps one of the editors might wish to address these matters?
    Apr 2, 2015. 10:19 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A New Way To Follow Your Favorite Seeking Alpha Authors [View article]
    Scoots, I've had similar thoughts as you've expressed. This is why I've recommended publishing track records for premium contributors. Surely, after one has made cogent arguments for recommending an investment, I want to be able to see, in time, that it was a worthy investment. I don't expect for anyone to be perfect, but I do expect to see considerable improvement on my investments.

    I learned early on in my life that free advice often comes with a price attached to it. So, with all the free advice here at SA, I have to do quite a bit of sifting. I've made some good trades as well as some bad ones based on a number of articles. Of course, I can only blame myself for the decisions that I've made. However, once I've been bitten, I know that the free advice I followed was the price I paid for it. So far, I've done much better overall than the few choices I've made that didn't pan out. I believe that quite a bit of the advice I got for free here at SA made me a much wiser investor. Therefore, I know, first hand, the value of SA for me.

    In addition to my suggestions on categories of advice besides those mentioned by Eli, I would find it much easier to access the premium providers based on particular investments that interest me. So, if they could have a section where they are categorized with their names and their specialization(s), I can pinpoint what I'm seeking instead of having to read through quite a few pages before I find an author that I want. I'm sure this can be accomplished, and it could also be done for all the free articles.

    I thought about the nagging sensation that you have about this entire issue. I had it too, and I'm sure others have it besides us. But I think that offering something of value for free has limitations. In the past, I've paid for investment adviser subscriptions. Several have served me well, and a few others I would not re-subscribe. Virtually, every week, I get something in the mail for investment subscriptions, and most of them I pay no attention because they have so much hype to them.

    At SA, I get to be my own hyper. If I like what I read, then I'll go for it. Most of the time, if I've found a particular investment, I'll have done a fair amount of research before I've made a buy or sell decision. And, I commend the many comments to articles that are made by SA followers. They give me a lot of food for thought. I'm here almost every day, and should the premium contributors prove to be successful, then, I may take the leap of faith.

    Free has a cost. So, if SA is getting a cut of the pie, then I only think it's fair. I want it to grow as a marketplace for the small investors as well as for the big ones.
    Apr 2, 2015. 04:10 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A New Way To Follow Your Favorite Seeking Alpha Authors [View article]
    No question that SA is my GOTO place for investment advice. It's my favorite amongst a few others. Here are several things I would like to see besides a paid premium service:

    1. A track record for premium services. If you're paying, then you should know if your subscription investment is paying off for you. Now, no one is going to have a perfect record, but if this is expressed in percentage terms, then one can make a better decision on a subscription service based on a premium provider's advice.

    2. A breakdown of category advice. If a premium provider leans toward technical analysis or fundamentals. In my case, I'm more interested in dividends as I'm retired and this area is more important to me. Most of what I like to read falls into the fundamentals. Categories can be further broken down into areas such as preferred stocks, bonds, options, and now, mutual funds. There are other categories others may wish to see, such as specialization in, foreign stocks, energy investments, REIT'S, ETF's, commodities, to name a few. Some advisers offer a variety of advice falling into many categories, not just a few.

    I'm not saying that I don't read about technical advice, it's just that some are extremely technical, and my time is limited in being able to follow but a few of them. Ultimately, I will read several paragraphs, and then, I will read the conclusions towards the end where the author will make some estimates or recommendations. Statistical analysis can get very deep, and not everyone has a handle on totally understanding the technical details.

    The above are just a few thoughts that SA may wish to consider. After I discovered SA, I found it easy to recommend this website to my friends and acquaintances, especially because it's an educational adventure to learn about investments. Far too many people don't understand the stock markets. They find it confusing. So, the marketplace for potential retail investors is quite huge. SA is in competition with other investment advisers, so it must find growth, and for authors who are offering premium services, they will always need new clients.
    Apr 2, 2015. 01:37 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My 2013 IRA Additions: Amazon, Tesla, LinkedIn, InterActive And Lorillard [View article]
    Personally, I would not have selected Amazon or Tesla. These don't pay dividends, and their stock prices are too high and volatile. This does not mean I don't like them, but I like more bang for my buck. As a retiree, I select mostly dividend paying stocks, generally stocks priced up to $100. You have several stocks paying dividends which is all for the good. You may wish to rethink to focus on dividend paying stocks. It's okay to speculate as long as you have some idea of what to expect.

    When I select stocks, I look at their fundamentals and what the future holds for them, and how long they've been established companies. Because my time horizon is much different than yours, I have to think 20 to 40 years from now. I don't think I'll reach 100. However, I do think my spouse will be around as she's much younger. She'll inherit both my Roth and Traditional IRA's. Because I now have to withdraw RMD's from my traditional IRA, long ago, I made sure that I would accumulate enough cash to take the withdrawals without having to sell stocks for cash. So far, I've earned a healthy surplus of dividends and sufficient cash to take the RMD. If I had started out at your age, I would even be in much better shape. It's amazing how dividends pile up and it's a great idea to do dividend reinvestments.

    Seekingalpha is my preferred website for stocks and bonds. When I meet with young people, I tell them about how much you can learn from some of the very best investors in the business. It's a good idea to be in the market and not out of it. I don't earn much interest on bank accounts. And, yes, I do make some bonehead market moves, but overall, I'm doing well. Even the pros are not perfect. Failure is the tuition you pay for success.
    Apr 11, 2014. 11:33 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Seadrill's CEO Discusses Q4 2013 Results - Earnings Call Transcript [View article]
    It's torture to understand what is being said. It would have been better off not to have posted this diatribe I own SDRL, and I really wanted to understand more of what they intend to do in the future. If anyone paid for a translation, they got screwed.
    Feb 25, 2014. 05:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Forex probe uncovers evidence of collusion [View news story]
    Everyone involved in these sorts of schemes should lose their jobs, their financial licenses, and barred from trading on any stock exchange. There is simply no excuse for this chicanery.
    Dec 20, 2013. 11:06 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Blow to banks' hedging in Volcker Rule [View news story]
    Are you forgetting? Banks knowingly sold bad mortgage investments:

    "The behavior that the largest U.S. bank admitted to, authorities said, is at the heart of what inflated the housing bubble: lenders making bad mortgages and selling them to investors who thought they were relatively safe. When the loans started turning bad, investors lost faith in the banking system, and a housing crisis turned into a financial crisis."
    Dec 5, 2013. 05:21 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Blow to banks' hedging in Volcker Rule [View news story]

    What is this called? " AIG was a major seller of "credit-default swaps," essentially insurance against default on assets tied to corporate debt and mortgage securities. Weakness at AIG could force financial institutions in the U.S., Europe and Asia that bought these swaps to take write-downs or losses."
    Dec 5, 2013. 04:58 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Blow to banks' hedging in Volcker Rule [View news story]
    Banks failed the economy and Main St. had to bail them out. Enough of this! Given the opportunity, they will continue to find ways to play casino games in risky investments. They need more scrutiny, not less. Dodd-Frank still didn't go far enough. I can easily predict that a bank or banks in the future will still enter into highly risky investments on the sly.
    Dec 5, 2013. 01:11 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • I'm Not Investing In GOV Since The Thrill Of Victory Isn't Worth The Agony Of Defeat [View article]
    Jreay. I appreciate very much your response. All too often, we get people in the private sector who enjoy beating up on our government. As if the corporate world has never failed at anything or businesses that were not well run. Let's never forget that greed was at the very heart of the big meltdown back in 2007. It was the good old federal government that bailed out the big banks and a number of corporations. Main St. took a terrible beating at the hands of the banksters and corporatists.

    We have far to much of political gamesmanship with the anti-government crowd. It's not healthy to keep bashing governments. Perhaps, if we had more people like Brad getting involved in government, he can bring his talent and knowledge to help make governments run much better. It's far too easy for people who've never worked for the government to join the anti-government bandwagon. If you've never worked on the inside, it's easy to bash from the outside.

    I enjoy Brad's articles who's proven to be one of the best at specialized real estate investments. He's a great teacher, and I do so appreciate that he's taken his valuable time to enlighten all of us in his area of expertise.
    Nov 4, 2013. 03:33 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cramer's Mad Money - 10 Stocks Money Managers Will Be Buying (9/26/13) [View article]
    Why does Jamie Dimon get to wear a teflon suit? He's been JPM's top dog and I don't believe in rewarding failure. Yes, he's made billions for them, but he's also had far too many scandals and has lost billions too. Had he been more involved in providing oversight of the London Whales, for example, this is one scandal that could have been avoided entirely. But, it seems to me that he's getting off far too easy, and I suspect he knew more about the London Whales, but looked the other way, until they got caught. I think he's been complicit in many of JPM's schemes, but because he's Wall St.'s darling, no one wants to criticize him. He's not indispensable. It's time that the Board look for his replacement. I don't trust him at all.
    Sep 27, 2013. 05:36 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Brown/Vitter bill being rolled out in Congress is essentially Armageddon to the TBTF banks, says Goldman, seeing it as mandating another $1.1T in equity for the banking system. Banks would need 12 years of earnings to build this amount organically, though the bill would give just 5 - say goodbye to lending. Break up the banks? BAC, C, JPM, and WFC all have multiple divisions with more than $400M in assets - the level at which the bill gets tough on lenders. [View news story]
    For those who've not be apprised of how precarious the big banks are at risk, you should be reading Ellen Brown's many articles and books on the TBTF banks. It's devastating.
    Apr 15, 2013. 03:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment