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  • Don't Underestimate China's Potential [View article]
    Kinda reminds of the Joke in which 2 eagles are embraced in a
    fight to the death as they fall. One says to the other, 'Do you
    really want to do this?', the other says 'Over my dead body, you

    Will the US get into trade wars with China? Possibly. Real war?
    Unlikely- It's far too profitable to both countries to disrupt
    trade between each other. Global capitalism, here we are.

    In spite of the paranoia expressed by the media representing
    the leadership of China, we should recognize it for what it is-
    Blustering, or staging.

    As far as China looking out for it's own interests? DUHH!!??
    And the US isn't?

    The Chinese are light years ahead of us in figuring out
    how to combine diplomacy with capitalism in their own best

    North Korea is small potatoes to China... China turns on the
    faucet to NK, and they get food and oil. Faucet off....
    NK is nothing more than a border buffer for China.

    Even the Chinese military practices meritocracy.
    The premier of China is stepping down since he has
    or is reaching the mandatory retirement age of 65.

    Markets will determine the availability of commodities.
    If the Chinese constrict rare earth availability,
    the balloon will bulge out elsewhere, with new mines being
    opened, new discovery's being made as prices for such rise.
    Supply/demand rules.

    The Chinese have been wise in buying outright sources of
    commodities, even if they lost a buyout of an iron ore producer
    in Australia, building schools in 3rd world countries to entice
    the local govt to 'come along' with their purchases. Call it a
    bribe, call it what you will, but there it is.

    As far as China's human rights record, many are fleeing, at
    least those that can afford to.

    I think Dr. Steve has it right- We have a Chinese 'sleeping Giant'
    that sleeps no more, and hasn't since they announced '
    capitalism is good!'

    Jan 4, 2012. 03:06 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Jim Rogers insists he's still a bull on most all hard assets, but if he could buy one sector right now it would be agriculture, because that's where he thinks demand will come first. Commodities are all about "scarcity in a growing world," he says, and in the agricultural sector "we have shortages in everything... and inventories are very low." (Video).  [View news story]
    Hispeed- You're on the mark- The federal ethanol payment
    of 50 cents a gallon is scheduled to end this fall. And will be
    debated heavily in the Federal Congress about extension.

    Under the duress of the current budget, it may not happen.
    This will impact current fuel prices, as ethanol is mixed
    with the gasoline we consume, under EPA mandates
    in most states.

    Geoff, Beware the promoter. Rogers is famous for such.
    I've read at least 2 of his books, but remain to be convinced.
    He's a great entertainer, though.

    Ag is overpriced, and demand is falling, at least in the the USA.
    The balloon is bursting on commodity prices.

    I have an inordinate amount of respect for Rogers, but he's
    behind the ball on this one.

    Sep 26, 2011. 09:59 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Disasters And What I Learned From Them [View article]
    You have to actively manage your investing...

    I had around 500 shares of BX (Blackstone Group)several years
    ago while they were paying an average of 9% per share/year as a limited liability partnership.

    In 2008-2009, while the credit market dried up due to the 'Great'
    recession, BX cut their payout by 75% when they realized
    that they couldn't borrow money (cheaply) anymore to finance
    their acquisitions.

    I started looking for an opportunity to unload it, and did so in 2009.
    Sold the stock at a slight advantage, and between that and
    the quarterly cash payouts, I netted around 14% for around a

    A nice bonus on the cash payout- No Fed taxes unless the payout
    exceeds basis.

    This just illustrates the requirement of diligence in your ownership.

    On the other hand, I bought 1000 shares of NEPT without
    doing due diligence. Unloaded @ a 25% loss after realizing
    that they were marketing 'krill oil' as a health fix all...

    If I'd done my work, I'd of 'smelled' the snake oil.

    In the end, what counts:Are we in the black and ahead of inflation,
    or in the red?

    May 27, 2012. 10:57 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Problem With Coal [View article]

    Interesting analysis of coal versus NG.

    Combining the fact that NG is cheaper than coal
    with the closing of coal generation stations in the US
    due to emissions as well as the China Factor
    puts you close to the mark of what's happening
    in this energy sector.

    What links have you as towards storage of NG
    to support your claim of exhausting such?

    Apr 8, 2012. 10:44 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Does Mali's Coup Mean For Miners? [View article]
    hmmm...selling the gold report, huh?

    One of the companies that sponsors the 'gold report'
    is also quoted in this article?
    Have you ever heard of the word 'biased'?
    Or do you even understand the concept of 'conflict of interest'?

    Maybe you belong on the cast of 'MadMen'.
    Mar 25, 2012. 01:20 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Copper Prices In Tight Range As Chinese Inventories Surge, London Supplies Plummet [View article]
    The Chinese are guaranteeing the availability of such commodities
    that they require to maintain their manufacturing engine.

    What else is new?

    Did anybody bother to check the timing of buying as to price!!?

    Mar 12, 2012. 01:24 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Greece And The PIIGS Are A Problem... Even For The Strongest German Banks [View article]

    Good sleuthing.

    pragmist- what's the difference between true reporting
    and spinning?

    Tombaum- Didn't DB pay fines along with other banks
    for playing a part in the meltdown of the world economy?
    Maybe not in Deutschland...
    Feb 26, 2012. 10:12 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fire Hoses Pumping Again [View article]

    Once again, you hit the nail squarely on the head!

    It's not just about those that are about to retire, but the generation
    that are educated and not able to find work.

    We are seeing that in the 'Occupy' movement as we speak.

    Heck, as a proud old fart (POF), I'm even thinking of joining 'em.

    I couldn't agree more that the ingenuity of our younger
    populace should be wisely applied to the more vexing situations
    in this Country..

    Oct 8, 2011. 10:14 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fire Hoses Pumping Again [View article]
    SCORE! You hit the nail on the head, Abegaz; I'm watching in
    real life & timing, such events occur within the 28 to 35 year old generation in the USA.

    A Waffle House cook bought/rented so many items from rent-to own, he couldn't make his smart phone payment, resulting in service being turned off.

    IN the retiring age-

    A school district warehouse employee kept upgrading his cars
    (lexus/jag ect) until his credit was trashed. Then he elected for
    early retirement through the state retirement system...
    He didn't have enough cash paid in for a full retirement benefit,
    so he elected for 10 years of reduced benefits. Then Nothing.
    He'll wish he had died before they run out, since his SoSci
    (social security) claim will be reduced if he doesn't work
    in the intervening years.

    I could give you more examples, but I think you are more than able
    to get the picture and have a strong handle on it.

    I used to say 'You can cure Ignorance, but you can't cure stupidity'
    but the stupidity factor has grown to such heights, that it scares
    even me; I have a bumper sticker which states:
    'Stupid people are my job security'.

    I think we are approaching the levels of ignorance/stupidity & laziness as suggested by the short story of Cyril M. Kornbluth,
    'The Marching Morons'.

    How do you bail out a generation? You don't. They learn, the
    hard way, just like the previous generation. They bang their
    heads against the wall, like those of us that preceded them.
    Without hard knocks, nothing learned.

    'Nuff said?

    Oct 7, 2011. 07:42 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Gold: Fear And Panic Headed This Way [View article]
    Outcast, Kinda sums it up.

    Disclosure: I'm not buying anything...The frothing is always
    greatest at the top...
    Mar 25, 2013. 08:42 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Cisco, Left For Dead [View article]

    Interesting, and nice work.

    We all have to consider that a lot of leading corps have money offshore in tax havens; The USA would better serve itself if congress allowed that money to come ashore for use in buying other USA based companies and R&D, don't cha think?

    Oops! Doesn't current fed tax code allow that? I know R&D is a write off and 'buying' other companies are usually reverted to 'merger' status for tax advantage.

    What everybody has ignored is the current condition of the largest consumers of Cisco products in the USA market-
    Government. From the Feds to local school districts, they are being squeezed as to their budgets and therefore not upgrading equipment.

    I work for a school district, and heard a network engineer the other day grumbling that 'Trying to make 5-10 year old Cisco routers
    perform to current demands is like asking the Mayflower to take us to the moon'...The district bought skid loads of Dells to upgrade it's
    computer labs with Bimbos 7 this summer, but, alas, no new

    The indicator here, is that most tech companies out perform in good times and under perform in bad times.

    Rabish, you might be right- It might be a good time to acquire shares of CSCO, but that depends upon how long the economy takes to pull itself out of the quagmire of the current economy.

    Hey- What about Dell Computer?

    Jul 26, 2012. 12:56 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Cliffs, Nightmares, And Hidden Taxes [View article]
    "What about Govt demand for cash against private sector demand?"

    "There is no such thing."

    Yes there is- it's called taxes...Whether it's state or local. We've already heard the present administration's argument for fed taxes
    above the $250k mark, or is now the $1 million mark?

    I agree completely about "it is the competition for goods and services that matters", or more likely, the lack, there of.

    Car payments get lower as owners extend financing over longer
    periods...Does this mean that car prices have dropped?
    Initially, 4 years ago during the restructuring of the US car industry,
    yes. Now? I doubt it.

    Food prices usually reflect climate conditions on an annual basis:
    Currently, corn is up 16+%, wheat 8%, soybeans 24%.
    as of July 20th;
    How do we separate shortages from inflation? Or can we?

    One way, for the average consumer, is to observe the cost of average staples- I don't consume corn syrup laden pop, but I've noticed the price of a 12 pack of 12 oz cans of 'house branded'
    pop rise from $2.00 to $2.50. Yet the same market will sell you 5 12 packs for $10.

    This tells me that supply and demand is still very much in effect.

    Anecdotal prices may not tell us much, but that's all the average consumer sees, or needs to know. They are not concerned with
    Fed target rates, just as you enjoy a discount on your heating oil as compared to a previous year's costs.

    As towards housing prices, distorted originally by unbiased financing when lenders sold off mortgages to be sliced and diced by investment bankers into CDOs, so the lender had no responsibility as towards the management of such debt, now typified by foreclosure and being purchased by investors for recovery and reuse as rentals; Who knows? Most home prices
    (used) are still out of the range of affordability of first time home buyers.

    What we do know, is whatever the Fed targets, add at least 5%
    to it's target rate, for real inflation...Many here would argue for
    around an addition of 10%+ for the year in question.

    Wages haven't kept up and they won't. I agree completely about the lack of demand for labor. You, and I, know that this will only accelerate the unemployment rate.

    Appreciate the note about Long treasuries, and concur about
    non-callabes. Boy, do we negotiate with our checkbooks!
    Well spoken.

    Jul 22, 2012. 06:17 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Cliffs, Nightmares, And Hidden Taxes [View article]
    Larry J-

    Well spoken...

    But we have to temper everything by the inclusion of Govt
    tampering, whether it's via the Fed, or congress, and the unwillingness of most money institutions to lend in the current economic environment, or should we say, risk aversion?

    You are correct in your observation that we have no credit expansion, but inflation in most sectors are very real and with the every day person. Answer this: How much did you pay per lb for a Sirloin steak, as compared to 2-3 years ago? Are car prices any cheaper than 2-3 years ago?

    Food prices have climbed at least 10% in the last year; Electricity
    prices just climbed 10-20% in the last year. No Inflation? What city do you live in- If you haven't seen such, I'd like to move there when I retire!

    We also have to add to the equation, of more regulations regarding financial institutions in the wake of the 'libor' scandal, JP Morgan &
    Chase's folly, HSBC as a conduit for Mexican Cartels, etc
    As far as cities/states hitting the wall, California now has the dubious honor of a third city declaring bankruptcy: San Bernardino.
    I imagine there are going to be quite a few more. How many
    states are on the edge?

    Your 2005 'long bond' argument would hold water, except most issuers reserve the right to redeem their bonds before maturation,
    and have, as they issued cheaper interest bearing bonds when rates via the Fed dropped.

    Heck, I don't even know if coupon bonds (munis) can be called, but in the case they can't, when a city goes bankrupt what happens to the bondholders? Generally, Kaput.Gone.

    As far as the 'Precipice' of 2013 towards the capping of Military spending via the 'Fiscal Cliff', among other things, I suspect that
    the 1.3 million unemployed is too conservative. Shoot for about
    2.5 million, added to the existing unemployed. Probably not before the election.

    Govt demand for goods against private sector demand?
    What about Govt demand for cash against private sector demand?

    Sure, they print it, but when does the light at the end of the tunnel darken, and hyperinflation kick in? Or Stagflation?

    I lived through the early '70s of the Nixon debacle; It's already starting again.

    The Fed may WANT, but they rarely get such. The problem with the Fed, is that all they have is pepper spray to resist an attacker;
    (deflation/inflation) but it always injures nearby non-combatants
    including the average public.

    What we have, is nearly the entire US investing population sitting on the porch, waiting to see what will happen next.

    Jul 22, 2012. 12:46 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Silver Wheaton: Get In Before Fed Actions [View article]
    PHD in sun tanning, I hope you never get skin cancer!

    Your post kinda sums it up-

    "• So food inflation can be a more persistent problem than oil or metal supply, and may limit the printing hopes in China."

    You forgot to mention food inflation in the USA.

    "• The last thing the world economy needs now is more paper to artificially accumulate positions, and distort market prices even more. "

    Without that paper, most economies would plunge into the 2nd
    Great Depression, as the Great Recession continues.
    And should anyone think the Great Recession is bad, the 2nd Great Depression will result in soup lines without any soup.

    Market prices are starting to realize there is no light at the end of the tunnel...

    "• So growth is being constrained and the supply chain is negatively affected because of artificially high commodity prices. "

    Corn prices are not 'artificially high'. Due to weather (drought)
    in the US Midwest, corn prices by the bushel are up substantially.

    You can argue about commodity supply and demand, but the
    devil is always in the details.Ignore such to your peril.

    " • Funds are manipulating prices by creating artificial demand through paper trading of markets. "

    Funds trade towards the benefit of their owners. I doubt whether
    any particular fund 'trades to create artificial demand'.

    " • …even those commodities that are essential to everyday living, and end up hurting the people they are trying to help. "

    I can't argue with this: But, that is the nature of capitalism.
    By the very nature of the people of the USA, we adapt. Can't
    afford beef? We buy chicken and pork, instead.

    It will never be fair; But what IS fair? Do you want socialism?
    Yes, the markets lie, but they will eventually cut their own throats.
    Let them.

    Just wait for the bleeding to start, to take advantage of it.

    Jul 20, 2012. 11:24 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Where To Find Stocks With Yields Double Those In The U.S. [View article]
    pink stocks? some countries withholding up to 30%?

    SDRL? With the fall to the mid eighties in the barrel price
    of oil, I'd reconsider.

    NMM? A Greek based shipping company while Greece
    is about to be kicked out of the EU...hmmm

    Go for it! Lemmings...

    Jul 6, 2012. 09:39 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment