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  • "The Goldilocks era of post-crisis M&A has never been an if, but a when," says JPMorgan (JPM) vice-chair James Lee. "CEOs are declaring that day has come." Including the Berkshire buy, $40B in deals were announced yesterday and $140B this month. Transaction volume is up 27% Y/Y vs. an 8% slump for 2012. It should mean sweet profits for the newly lean banks. [View news story]
    There are about 15 reasons for all the M & A and looking to the idea that it is predicated on a market top is supported by history but is not the real impetus and probably not the most active ingredient.

    First, it just started. Let us see how long it lasts. We have another fiscal cliff and that could change lots of things.

    Then there is the little matter of a over a trillion in cash earning about enough to pay the finance staff to keep finding holes for it and spinning ideas to justify ducking the notion giving it to shareholders.

    Also, the bad loans and investments by the banks have begun to come into a clear scope and focus and the cleanup after the party and home giveaway theory of the last two decades is well under way. There were pronouncements from Fitch or some other umpire of MS in the last week or so on this very issue. Of course, the real work has been carried out over years.

    Here is the KEY:

    If the M & A continues or even builds and we avoid a collapse in Europe and somehow keep our taxing and spending in a comfort zone without having Moodys suggesting the purchase of firearms, canned goods and gold, the income to the banks will soar.

    The profits from M & A are considerable. With the potential volume sitting in the financial sector, (something nobody disputes) even a smoldering, singing fire will have a big impact. Then stocks like MS will do very well. A wildfire of M & A will be almost like giving the actors a key to Fort Knox. And in either case, the balance sheets will become palpably stronger so the red ink of the toxic past and the concomitant reserve concerns will rapidly pale.

    This will hold true even with some inflation worry or the inevitable comments about the giant sized noodle maker acquiring a flat bread plant expecting to produce earnings consistent with the makers of wedding cakes and caviar.

    Feb 18, 2013. 12:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Morgan Stanley Management Hosts Fixed Income Investor Conference Call - Transcript [View article]
    This all makes sense to be but I like MS and the people there and I have put my money where my assessment is.

    No comments from all the MS haters out there?
    Feb 16, 2013. 09:14 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 50 Fearless Predictions For 2013 [View article]
    This guy had guts.
    Feb 13, 2013. 08:39 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are more gains in store for the banks after the President last night gave a push to the stalled Menendez-Boxer bill which would streamline the refinancing process for Fannie and Freddie borrowers? BAC +0.9%, C +0.3%, JPM +0.5% premarket (no trades for WFC). [View news story]
    The bill is a short term jolt for a number of interest groups. I am no expert. If your search Heritage dot org or other conservative web pages, the bill isn't very popular. To answer Mr. Fish, the bill is to allow people with underwater mortgages and possibly bad credit to refinance their homes which many shouldn't have qualified for in the first place.
    Feb 13, 2013. 08:36 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Now Is The Time To Sell Apple [View article]
    I dumped AAPL at almost exactly the right time. I made money on both stock and options as it rose over $650 on positions I held for years. Then I left.

    Even the Roman Empire had limits. The $700 was a worry but I think we have too much negativity now.

    Fine company.
    Jan 24, 2013. 07:54 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Morgan Stanley Has 50% Upside Within 3 Years [View article]
    Tim Travis, have you seen the doom articles? Do you drink the same whiskey as my analyst? Think you are nuts? He says $40 plus by YE 14!

    I am sitting on options b/c of him. The $25 Jan 14. which was sunken to about 3 cents a few weeks ago from nearly $2 when I bought. MS actually seemed fairly valued in some types of analysis when sinking to $15! However, I avoided shooting him at that point so I guess it is all good from here.
    Jan 22, 2013. 09:14 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Natural Gas In 2013: It's Now A Trading Sardine [View article]
    1) Your use of the New York Times article is humorous. You are using a 2010 article to help a liberal president find an excuse to enforce bad rules. You use the article's comments from an EPA administrator on the subject of enforcing laws passed by liberal Democratic Congresses and given legal mandates by liberal judges. These same rules were not enforced by former President Bush who was a believer in global, climate change. So Bush was better at stopping tough restrictions? That is all I can conclude.

    2) You seem not to like "Journals". I am sure that you examined those I cited along with the energy industry's entire body of reporting on the subject of our current energy production and possible alternative development opportunities which are being smothered or kept dormant. I looked at them. The publications have a lot of facts, and have articles written by industry experts with education and experience and who work in the field every day. I'm sure they can't compare with where ever it was you went to school.

    3) The "anti-Obama" point I used on the "skyrocket" of prices came from President Obama on video.

    4) The paragraph where you deal with the controversial charge that President Obama is making energy more expensive is so convoluted that I will only say: " Consider President Obama's Energy Secretary, who said, "Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe." That's about $7 to $8 a gallon.
    And I've noted before the words of Alan Krueger of the Obama Treasury Department, who said, "The Administration believes that it is no longer sufficient to address our nation's energy needs by finding more fossil fuels...""

    THAT does not sound like people out for cheap energy or good news for companies like CHK or XOM, COP, BP, ECA..

    5) I am glad Solyndra makes you yawn. The half billion lost was chump change compared to the real impact of global climate change. But you are a big spender. You would not be too popular in some quarters with that attitude. The Republicans fret about our national debt, we have killings in Chicago in neighborhoods crying for more police and social intervention, the needs of the elderly poor, infrastructure repairs on hold and even people still suffering from Sandy after the Senate loaded a bill for relief with pork projects.

    6) And Volts are awesome? So all 26,000 of them potentially losing $49K a unit in a company held on life support with tax dollars? We sold 14.5 million cars in the US in 2012. And who can't grasp the "big picture"?

    7) The integrity of former Vice President Al Gore is important. He is a major proponent of green energy due to environmental and climate problems which I can't describe since his program has numerous features and is a moving target. He sold his TV network to an entity which is loaded with..(drumroll) OIL MONEY from the Mideast! Now I know this is a difficult problem for you but the Mideast oil princes love high prices and low US production. He also supported higher tax rates for wealthy Americans Fine. Then, it was alleged that he tried to close his deal before the recent tax increases went into effect. I don't know if that is true. I do know he has a 10,000 sq ft house, limos, a use of private jets and other rather profligate uses of energy. "The Associated Press reviewed the Gores’ energy bills and reported that the family consumed 191,000 kilowatt-hours in 2006. This was considerably more than the amount of electricity used by the typical house in Nashville, about 15,600 kilowatt-hours a year." This was from Fact check dot org, another partisan web site.

    He has done rehabbing but no other info is available.

    Finally, I do not hate our POTUS or anyone else. I just hoped for a debate on these issues. I would hope our leaders would weigh the opportunity now offered by the energy industry when we have a weak economy and Americans are suffering. " Any investment in any sector of the economy creates jobs." You mean for bankruptcy lawyers like the Solyndra mess? Think about that when you revere production as you say you do. .
    Jan 6, 2013. 11:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Natural Gas In 2013: It's Now A Trading Sardine [View article]
    At least I have "Journals" to quote.
    Jan 6, 2013. 09:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Natural Gas In 2013: It's Now A Trading Sardine [View article]
    "General Motors is years away from making money on the Chevy Volt, its electric plug-in hybrid. And a new report suggests that Chevy loses up to $49,000 on every Volt it produces." From Christian Science Monitor. Sept. 11, 2012

    BTW, we just set a record for snow cover in this hemisphere. Former Vice President Al Gore just sold his"Current " TV network to Al Jazzera.

    Al tried to close it before Obama raised taxes with this new year, even though Al supported "paying more". Al has made millions on his climate expertise even though he has no particular scientific training or knowledge.

    We are still headed for a terribly cold winter according to Weatherbell Analytics and Joe Bastardi. Their service costs $160 or so. The real cold will set in after Jan 15th. .
    Jan 6, 2013. 11:16 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Natural Gas In 2013: It's Now A Trading Sardine [View article]
    You write in such a terse and oblique manner it is difficult for me to follow you. I am sensing (guessing) that you think our POTUS is not anti-energy. No he is not. He is just anti carbon since he believes that we must waste money and opportunities till Al Gore is made a fool. Given the scientific ability of the American left, our POTUS and his great grandchildren will be buried before that question is resolved.

    From the sound of it, you have no connections in the energy industry. The folks I know in the field absolutely hate Obama. Why don't you do a web search on "Anti energy Obama" or a similar question? The Institute for Energy Research published a good intro article on Jan 24th of 2012.

    I do not hate our POTUS. I really wanted someone to debate Obama then some of the crap attitudes you wrote about would have been cleaned off the sidewalk. The American voter have no idea what this guy would do to our economy or even what he has done. But he is entitled to a defense. The problem is that Romney believed he had it won and started acting like a football team with a comfy lead. Now, to your comments..I wanted a discussion and we missed it. The media isn't going to challenge him. Your post is a collection of their narrative.

    LOL! Volts. Right. And all of 26,000!!!! Like we were supposed to have a million electric cars sold in 2011. Yes, our President believed that. And the electric stations? Naturally, they have to be built with gov't dollars or tax breaks. The nutty aspects of libs is that they claim higher tax rates don't change economic activity and kill jobs. Right. They why does every bloody program of the new economy thrive on tax breaks or credits? Little inconsistency there, don't you think?

    I am losing energy myself. But...on your comment on Alaska NG, from the Pipeline and Gas Journal, "a spokesman for the API. "The public and the oil and natural gas industry continue to support U.S. energy development. The administration continues to prevent, delay and obstruct development of important resources, and puts off jobs for another day." Date: October 2012, Vol. 239 No. 10 and posted on the web.

    Then you wrote: " Even most of the so called 'anti-coal' stuff passed under this administration was already on the books from as far back as Clinton, but didn't make it into law until Obama, making him look the culprit." LOL!

    From the Institute for Energy:" Referencing his proposed cap-and-trade energy tax, President Obama had a rare moment of political clarity when he said, “…if someone wants to build a coal plant, they can – it’s just that it will bankrupt them, because they are going to be charged a huge sum…” Unfortunately the President’s crusade against affordable energy didn’t end there. IER recently noted that new EPA rules and regulations for power plants would shut down roughly 10 percent of our coal electricity production. The 28 gigawatts of generating capacity that would go dark are the equivalent of shutting down every power plant in the state of Indiana or North Carolina, and, in the administration’s own words, would “necessarily” make our energy prices skyrocket.

    The most troubling aspect of the energy debate is that President Obama and his administration are actively pursuing policies that make energy more expensive for consumers and businesses, while sending billions to failed businesses like Solyndra. Taxpayer funded renewable energy is a fantasy, but the pain at the pump is very real" Article entitled Three Reasons the Obama Administration is Anti-Energy.

    The administration just did a regulation dump Christmas week and eight months late. They have not been digested yet. I will offer an article from Oil Price dot Com: "Relaxation of Obama’s Anti-Energy Policies Could Create 1.4 Million New Jobs".

    Finally, we just had a tax and spending debate. Check which nations have less of their GNP taken in taxes, oil exporters or oil importers. Well, the importers like the US have 20 to 40 percent taken in painful taxes. The exporters between 2 and 7 percent. If you want all the money for dream projects and programs, you need to have the income to pay for it and th energy industry is claiming that we are being fed lies while the economic pie shrinks.

    Like 26,000 Chevy Volts.
    Jan 6, 2013. 10:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Short Morgan Stanley Shares [View article]
    It is $20.19 in early January 2013. That is decent.
    Jan 6, 2013. 09:40 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Natural Gas In 2013: It's Now A Trading Sardine [View article]
    Gigem, good comment. Where do you get info on fueling stations? Why does the administration seem to ignore the employment aspect of cheap domestic energy? Are they waiting for something?

    I was told that an export tax could amply pay for our terminals to ship overseas. The problem is where do we get the money to change over to NG or electric highway vehicles in our infrastructure? The excise tax on gasoline is an obvious place.But how can you raise it without dumping the poor and the general economy?

    A United States Patent Application is at 20110218894 to "progressively" spike excise taxes but I hate giving the gov't another tube into our pockets. I wonder if President Obama or the DOE have anything planned. Or are we all going to Chevy Volts with nothing having carbon attributes powering the utility company's production?
    Jan 4, 2013. 11:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Natural Gas In 2013: It's Now A Trading Sardine [View article]
    I follow this man as he has an appreciation of economics which should be on staff in the White House or DOE. Drop them a line, would you?

    ".....But for the moment, the marginal cost of production, not total cost, is what seems to be influencing supply. And that is having its effect on price making this a trading sardine."

    However, I am watching the weather and find that the market seems to ignore what seems to be coming a few weeks out.

    It is a fact that unless we start exporting, this industry and whole areas in our nation will suffer.
    Jan 3, 2013. 01:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fourteen banks are reportedly set to reach a $10B settlement with regulators over abusive foreclosure practices such as incorrect paperwork and excessive charges. The banks include the five that agreed to pay $26B in another deal earlier this year - JPMorgan (JPM), Bank of America (BAC), Wells Fargo (WFC), Citigroup (C) and Ally Financial. The latest settlement will allow banks to end a review of 4M loan files that has cost 1.5B so far. [View news story]
    I fear that the word game was played with the bank's counsel to cop the plea or we have a bunch of innocent business people getting soaked.
    Jan 3, 2013. 12:09 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 50 Fearless Predictions For 2013 [View article]
    Hey alpha, market this and get rich!

    This thread is why Alpha is a blessing we have for 2013!

    We get to watch a drama play out.

    According to some sources,we are about to be hit with cold that makes Alaska look like Bermuda. But NG and CHK are low.

    Something's gotta give!

    Whichever side is right, get the public involved and cash in!

    Jan 3, 2013. 11:29 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment