Cara’s Commentary & Community Chat, Wed., Feb. 25, 2009

[8:32am ET] Nationalization by any other name is still taxpayer support of companies that should be in the private sector. Political fingers get into the pie, government grows larger and more forceful, and deficits either grow or tax rates grow. It

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202 Comments

  1. NYUGrad(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    http://tinyurl.com/dfwtfk

    Use internet explorer if you want the slides to work.

    • Pierre(118083 comments)-
      February 26, 2009 at 12:41 am

      Thanks. Works fine with firefox.

  2. yvrapx(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Geez and I like E,W & F and Sheryl Crow.
    http://tinyurl.com/b7up8b

  3. Bull Hunter(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Good Morning. It’s dump on FSLR day.

    FSLR – Downgraded to Sell @ Kaufman Bros. Price Target Lowered from $114 to $86

    Price Targets Lowered:

    FSLR – from $120 to $110 @ Friedman Billings
    FSLR – from $180 to $170 @ Jefferies & Co.

    • number2son(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 2:18 pm

      Yep, FSLR is going to drag down everybody in the sector today. But with respect to those who bought ESLR yesterday (after forming a nice triple bottom) I wonder how much this is trouble with FSLR and how much trouble in the sector.

      It’s easy to believe that this is mostly a sector-wide issue. FSLR has stuffed the channel with panels and now their customers are sitting on inventory they can’t install as projects have been put on hold. So FSLR has extended payment terms. That’s a huge red flag.

      FSLR also said they would now try to increase volume by reducing price. How well will that strategy work when customers are already sitting on excess inventory? Granted they also said they would try to expand market share.

      They also suggested their backlog for ’09 might be adjusted downward.

  4. shark_attack(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    First Solar has fired a sidewinder through the Evergreen trade. Just when you thought it was safe to come out of the “woods”….Get it? Evergreen?

    Speaking of Woods, Tiger’s back, and he’s on the attack. Reports are that during the pro-am today he’s beating the pants off the 14 year old daughter of an insurance executive.

  5. swissrobinson(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 2:15 pm
    • number2son(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 2:26 pm
      • swissrobinson(118083 comments)-
        February 25, 2009 at 2:31 pm

        Yeh No.2, wasn’t suggesting FSLR tout de suite. But if the big ‘uns are going to leave the little ‘uns in their dust; I’d be cautious with Evergreen. If negative earnings are the short term outlook…

        • number2son(118083 comments)-
          February 25, 2009 at 2:35 pm

          They aren’t, that’s the point. 😉

          FSLR is poorly positioned for this downturn. ESLR less so.

          • telenetworx(118083 comments)-
            February 25, 2009 at 2:55 pm

            So how are integrated photovoltaic product manufacturers like Yingli Green Energy(YGE) affected by this? I would assume negatively.

          • Chickenpookie(118083 comments)-
            February 25, 2009 at 3:32 pm

            Lower Silicon prices will assist the silicon-based manufacturers, silicon prices move down with oversupply, translating to additional profits and a more competitive position against the thin-film strategy. As production increases, silicon prices will also increase. I would analyze the watt/ft^2 spec to find the competitive edge, footprint DOES matter and thin film probably has some disadvantage at the moment or recent past, but may become more compact in near future?

          • BillySundance(118083 comments)-
            February 25, 2009 at 3:37 pm

            “FSLR is poorly positioned for this downturn. ESLR less so.”

            FSLR is profitable and has net cash in excess of debt. ESLR is not profitable and has debt in excess of cash. How do you surmise that ESLR is better positioned than FSLR for “this downturn”?

          • number2son(118083 comments)-
            February 25, 2009 at 4:06 pm

            All true, BillyS. But ESLR has a superior product that is moving closer to parity with thin-film on a pure cost per watt basis. They also don’t have the oversupply issues FSLR is facing as they are in the early stages of ramping up their production capacity.

            No doubt ESLR faces both industry-wide and company-specific challenges, particularly as they manage their cash toward sustained profitability. Their current cash/debt ratio reflects the fact they have made a substantial investment in their production capacity. This is always true of companies at this stage of development. And again, that investment is on schedule to pay off by the second half of this year.

            They have a multi-billion $ backlog and have sold out capacity through 2011. The fact that the sector has a poor outlook may very likely impact some deliveries in the near term, but given their current production capacity and backlog, they are less likely to face significant pressure. This is in sharp contrast to manufacturers like FSLR who are already producing at full capacity and who are clearly beginning to feel competitive pressure from the silicon-based producers.

            Full disclosure: I am long ESLR and added to my position this morning.

          • swissrobinson(118083 comments)-
            February 25, 2009 at 4:14 pm

            Had a sniff around ESLR No.2. At this price it is compelling…

          • BillySundance(118083 comments)-
            February 25, 2009 at 4:30 pm

            I can’t claim to know much about ESLR’s superior products.

            But from a competitive standpoint, I highly doubt that FirstSLR is upset that they are operating at full capacity. In this financing environment, the longer FSLR can go on producing at a profit, although margins may decline, they will be squeezing poorly financed competitors out of the market.

            I am not sure how costs for poly-silicon based products moving into parity with thin-film is necessarily a good thing unless profit margins are remaining steady or increasing. Has ESLR sold its capacity through 2011 at fixed prices? I.E. do they reap the benefits of new cheaper input costs (wider margins) on this production?

            With that said, at $1.35/share for ESLR, I think is interesting and may provide some nice upside if the company can avoid the predatory financing that they will encounter if forced to raise cash. But any company that is hard-up for cash right now is in a bad spot.

          • TN_blogger(118083 comments)-
            February 25, 2009 at 4:45 pm

            Interesting take on ESLR/FSLR.

            Are there any outfits that outsource silicon production and what market share do they have, if applicable?

            Any insight or thoughts are appreciated…thanks

  6. shark_attack(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    This transaction tax nonsense is odious.

  7. tango6(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    “You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”

    Dr. Adrian Rogers, 1931-2005

    Hum. Stirring words. Half of me applauds. Half of me weeps. You might also say that when millions live hand to mouth on the streets without hope; when the education system is dysfunctional for lack of funding; when the sick are not cared for because they do not have the money etc., when darwinian capitalism leads to wrecked lives and abject poverty in the midst of obscene wealth, THAT “my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. Society is based on cooperation, not markets.” (with apologies to Dr Adrian Rogers.)

    • nemo(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 2:29 pm

      The comment really revolves around making people responsible for their actions, whether rich or poor. There has been plenty of money thrown at all these problems, but the bureaucracies that run them do what bureaucracies do, take care of the bureaucracy. There are certain principles of nature man tries to break, and then he weeps when he cannot break them, that’s why they are principles

    • number2son(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 2:36 pm

      I also note the gruesome irony in that statement. Indeed, it has been wealthy who have been receiving benefits from government at the expense of the poor. The gross sense of entitlement evidenced by the likes of Fuld and Thain, and Bernie Madoff continues to live in the lap of luxury while millions are suffering. But let’s not blame those guys, or the culture of greed and corruption which they represent, when we can lay the blame for our current situation on the CRA!

      I seriously doubt Rogers had such a sense of irony.

      • Craig(118083 comments)-
        February 25, 2009 at 2:58 pm

        Notice when the priviledged are discussing the supposed transgressions of this system how it’s 50%/50%….like the haves are 50% (give me a break) and the entire 50% of the have nots are lazy chiselers.

        What do they produce?

        Perhaps if they stopped devaluing our currency and robbing our treasury we could afford to live on the crumbs they throw our way.

        This isn’t spit…it’s blood.

  8. skater(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Korvus/Bill
    Thanks

  9. Seamus(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 2:34 pm
  10. Bull Hunter(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    FSLR – Downgraded at ThinkEquity to Sell. $60 price target. Estimates also cut, as the company is not immune from demand destruction.

    FSLR – numbers lowered at UBS through 2010. Company cut its sales guidance, but margins should remain stable. Buy rating and new $155 price target.

    INTC – numbers increased at Barclays to $16. Estimates also raised, as the company should outperform its peers, despite the difficult macro environment. Equal-weight rating.

    JNPR – estimates upped through 2010, target raised at Barclays. Company talked about more cost cutting at its analyst meeting. Equal-weight rating and new $15 price target.

    WMT – target cut at Morgan Stanley to $58. Decelerating comps should lead to flat earnings. Overweight rating.

    • salty(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 3:52 pm

      Thanks Bull for your continuing support and updates.
      S

      • Bull Hunter(118083 comments)-
        February 25, 2009 at 4:38 pm

        You’re quite welcome, salty.

        Appreciate your thanks.

        Regards
        BH

  11. EDC(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Want to strike a blow to HBB?

    Simple – If you have an account at a money center bank, move your money to a stable regional bank.
    If you have a loan at a money center bank, leave it there…. but just remove your deposits from that bank. Smaller banks have as many if not more benefits than those HUGE money center banks.

    If you tell your friends and family to do that, eventually it will hurt as it will be a silent run on those mammoths.

    Right Jab to the face usually hurts.

  12. tradingmyChips(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    REUTERS UPDATE 1-Agrium bids to acquire CF Industries for $3.6 bln [JLLJGRZ]

    * Cash-and-stock bid values CF at $72/share

    * Bid conditioned on CF dropping its pursuit of Terra

    NEW YORK, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Canadian fertilizer maker Agrium Inc said on Wednesday it has offered to acquire U.S. rival CF Industries for $3.6 billion in cash and stock.

    The bid is conditioned on CF dropping its hostile takeover offer for U.S. rival Terra Industries , which Terra has rejected.

    Agrium said it has submitted a proposal to the board of directors of CF offering $72 in cash and stock for each CF share. The offer represents a 30 percent premium over CF’s closing stock price on Feb. 24.

    CF shareholders would receive one Agrium common share and $31.70 cash for each CF share.

    Agrium said the proposal is not subject to a financing condition. The company said it has sufficient cash resources and committed financing underwritten by Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of Nova Scotia to fund the cash portion of the proposal.

    Terra says CF’s all-stock bid undervalues Terra and would not create value for shareholders of either company.

    (c) Reuters 2009. All rights reserved.

  13. 2nd_ave(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    They’re purging banks ahead of the stress tests…the tests themselves will probably be a piece of cake, it’s what they may find that has them (and us) worried…

    • Chickenpookie(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 3:18 pm

      2nd – Do you have a feeling for the purpose of the stress-tests? I suspect it’s simply a delay tactic, these banks are waiting for the taxpayer to prop up housing prices so their assets stop falling. Otherwise, they were/are so highly leveraged there’s no way they could admit such tremendous loss. Meanwhile, maybe Citi will be nationalized, broken up and parts sold off.

      • 2nd_ave(118083 comments)-
        February 25, 2009 at 3:24 pm

        CP- You’re right, I think they will be used as convenient excuses to proceed with plans already in place…the show is for our benefit; all we can do is trade the price swings.

        • Chickenpookie(118083 comments)-
          February 25, 2009 at 3:44 pm

          “CP- You’re right, I think they will be used as convenient excuses to proceed with plans already in place…the show is for our benefit; all we can do is trade the price swings.”

          I’m waiting for a new housing tactic, like a plan to make up losses through increased volume. Oh wait, that’s where we are now!!!

          • 2nd_ave(118083 comments)-
            February 25, 2009 at 3:52 pm

            “I’m waiting for a new housing tactic, like a plan to make up losses through increased volume. Oh wait, that’s where we are now!!!”

            I like that train of thought, CP…we should have taken the housing bubble up much higher-> we could have used the US banks as loss leaders, sucked in the Chinese, the Europeans, the Saudis…and THEN let the bottom drop out…

          • Chickenpookie(118083 comments)-
            February 25, 2009 at 3:57 pm

            “we should have taken the housing bubble up much higher-> we could have used the US banks as loss leaders, sucked in the Chinese, the Europeans, the Saudis…and THEN let the bottom drop out…”

            Yep, we’ll need a diversionary tactic though, like a war somewhere in the Middle-East.

  14. 2nd_ave(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    20% of allocation…

    • 2nd_ave(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 4:49 pm

      taking the 4% again…

  15. Bull Hunter(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    DIS – Price Target Lowered from $18 to $17 @ Barclays

  16. Chickenpookie(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    At least gold is headed back up. IMO, the recent action suggests we may be in a trading range between ~$1k and ~$960 for a while.

    Comments?

    • EDC(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 3:31 pm

      Looking to actually go short gold soon, I am by no means know if this is a smart trade but it is more like an emotionless gut feeling to do so. No emotion and from the gut so we will see if that works out.

      Stress tests… encouragement to read the following links – I BELIEVE they are WINDOW DRESSING nothing more nothing less or just a reason to re-capitalize the banks with tax payer money and keep them in Zombie status. They have no means or the man power t properly stress test these banks in 2-4 weeks. If Big 4 autiding firms takes weeks and they do that 24/7 for 365 how can a few suits do it in less time? exactly.

      http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2009/02/bank-stress

      http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2009/02/william-bla

      http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2009/02/now-its-off

      http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2009/02/economic

      These are a few links of reading, a lot but scanning should give you the idea that “stress test” is bs… the market is starting to call the bluff. Zombie banks will not EVER get us to prosperity. Time to let them fail, start with AIG, Fannie, Freddie first and no nationalization whatsoever.

      • tango6(118083 comments)-
        February 25, 2009 at 3:41 pm

        My gut reaction is the reverse: to buy gold, based on the notion that if BOs stirring speech has THIS effect on the market… well.

        Thank you for those informative links on the stress tests. Big eyes.

  17. Grym(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 3:12 pm
    • Corner Stone(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 4:17 pm
      • nemo(118083 comments)-
        February 25, 2009 at 6:47 pm

        And you have a large contingent of the citizenry on the low end that get paid for bad decisions also. The standard “liberal” line is well, it’s here, you have to deal with it. Of course, we then set up institutions that propagate further the initial behavior…frankly, it happens on both ends of the spectrum…it comes down to holding people responsible and making them pay the price and get the scars, be they physical or emotional.

  18. 2nd_ave(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    yesterday’s lot @ 6.75…4% is good enough in these currents…

    • NYUGrad(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 5:31 pm

      that was a good move. should have followed suit and bought back in around 6.85.

      after lunch i may try to trade it.

  19. shark_attack(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Back on the gold train

    CHOOOOO CHOOOO.

    • Chickenpookie(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 3:40 pm

      CHUGGA CHUGGA CHUGGA, roll out the next $Trillion$, I’ve got my long! Who has analyzed $trillions$ spent vs POG increase? Maybe it’s not possible due to the opaque environment and futzing with gold paper derivatives?

  20. tango6(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    went back into my fav shorts: vno, avb, lphi and public storage psa

  21. shark_attack(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Is the guy who makes the stock go up by selling the exact bottom of a move.

    Played Yamana badly today, but it was a sloppy messy bit of fun. Didn’t cost me too much:)

    • bobbyo(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 4:24 pm

      I think I have a new screen name thanks. How do I change it.
      Bob

  22. EDC(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    I never thought it would be this soon but CDS is to increase on all sovereign debt. German and the USA.

    Once the US bond rates go up for risk purpose not inflation measures. Bond markets will get hosed and we the debt collapse could be perpetuated. If deflation talk was lispers then, wait until those days decent upon us. Bond prices will collapse in other markets as investors flee to obtain higher treasury yields.

    Hopefully this is a false dawn and not a strong trend in regards to treasury risk/sovereign risk.

  23. dr.cosa(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    after getting smacked down yesterday its not surprising to see gold up in the 970’s. it gives me no real indication of a future move.

    the miners are decidedly negative. now is it contrarian to go long the miners, or do you respect the charts which look ugly.

    until gold can breach $1000 and close above that level for at least 2 sessions to prove its merit, im holding back what little ammo i have left. things could get ugly quick for all sectors accept physical bullion. notice the Venture exchange is still down, as i have opined before, i beleive the jr. gold sector as a broad-based investment is done. a few jr’s will emerge but it will be very very difficult to pick the winners and risk enough capital in them to make it worth while. remember how much they have fallen, and how much they continue to fall the past week in the face of the current POG.

    i really do get the impression that gold stocks will not make their fabled breakout until gold can make a decisive move above $1000. if this happens in the face of rising crude oil and a falling dollar, then all the better.

    until then, i think its a fools game trying to find a bottom on these.

    • tango6(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 4:15 pm

      What bottom? I don’t understand thinking and try to stay away from it altogether. my monthly and weekly charts are generally bullish.

      • Pillzilla(118083 comments)-
        February 25, 2009 at 4:17 pm

        “i dont understand thinking”

        Me either….thinking tends to get me out of good positions early and talked into junk I shouldnt buy. My best trades always involve little thinking…LOL That was funny stuff bud.

    • everyman(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm

      At the moment:
      Barrick Gold Corporation … ABX 4.17% 28.77B
      Newmont Mining Corporatio… NEM 5.39% 20.74B

      Why do you say the miners are decidedly negative?

      • dr.cosa(118083 comments)-
        February 25, 2009 at 4:35 pm

        look at the charts for more than just a day and you see the move yesterday, we have only partially moved up from there.

        look at the monthly MA’s for the GDX.

        my feeling is the miners remain on watch and are not a buy to me until as stated gold can bust out beyond $1000 w/ decisiveness, at the moment this little pop is great but only partially covers the cliff they fell off of yesterday.

        • sammas(118083 comments)-
          February 25, 2009 at 5:00 pm

          dr cosa (and others)

          i greatly enjoy your take on gold and gold miner stocks. however, i think your quality analysis is brought into question due to the fact that you are using the GDX as your proxy for the gold miners. not all gold miners are the same; there are major differences in terms of their geology, hedging strategies, etc that will become more apparent over time. perhaps, your analysis would yield different results on a per stock basis?

          GDX = just another ‘purple worm’

          • dr.cosa(118083 comments)-
            February 25, 2009 at 5:08 pm

            thx sammas.

            ultimately the analysis of any sector requires a degree of generalization among the group of stocks that comprise the index.

            despite drastically different strategies for both mining, cash holdings and hedging strategies, the chart patterns are fairly similar among the heavyweights: ABX, GG, NEM, AEM.

            they make up the majority of the GDX and other indicies, and notice their action in and around their 200 MA w/ the 50 MA’s converging.

            a rising tide lifts all boats and that has been generally true w/ the rising gold price and gold miners.

            stock picking is a tough game, placing your best heavily in 1 stock you purport to be strongest among a group takes special skills. its also more riksy betting on 1 among many, especially in mining.

            GDX allows one to play the broad indicies and gives us a good quick snapshot of the conditions of the sector, the same way your thermometer outside your window tells you in general how cold it is, but not how windy, wet or how long it will stay that way. sometimes thats all we need to know.

            so broad sector analysis does still have its place, especially for those of us who are not professionals.

          • sammas(118083 comments)-
            February 25, 2009 at 5:43 pm

            obviously, you do have a point in regards to sectors. i suppose what i am suggesting is that you take those 4 majors (or miners of your choice) and really try to delve into the annual reports and other sec filings. granted, these could be enron-tastic, but one has to work with the tools that are available. i tend to think on the basis of the things that you write, that you could produce analysis on that basis that holds as much or more merit than any so-called professional with a flimsy piece of paper from school xyz and a job they got because they know the dad of the friend of the…

            up to you, of course; i know it is what i will be doing :)

  24. jock(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    A major Argentine opposition leader questioned whether Argentina would be a sucker to pay their international debt in these days when no one pays.

    http://incakolanews.blogspot.com/2009/02/argentina

    This comes on the heels of default by Ecuador, another up-and-coming mining country considered to have huge potential.

    No discernible impact (yet?)on stock of explorers with major projects in those countries (MAI.V, DMM.V,DNT.V for example).

    • everyman(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 4:26 pm

      History shows clearly that Argentina and Ecuador are perennial default risks. So what’s new here?

      “A major Argentine opposition leader questioned whether Argentina would be a sucker to pay their international debt in these days when no one pays.”

      Just looking for excuses not to pay. They have shown repeatedly that this is to be expected of them.

      The suckers are those who lend to them!

  25. teamonfuego(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Looks like housing prices are starting to come into the normal range. Median household price was $170k in January. Average household income is approx $50k. That is a 3.4 price:income ratio. Historical norm over 150+ years is approximately 3 (it reach over 5 in the peak). I’m beginning to get a little more bullish on housing (and the economy in general) as long as this ratio continues to drop.

    • proudPapa(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm

      That means we’d need another 12% drop to reach the historical norm, and that assumes no overshoot. Not to mention that incomes seem to be dropping as well, so the ratio of 3 could be reached with house price of $135K and income of $45K, representing a further 21% drop in house prices (and all the associated pain of declining income).

      Not a prediction, just playing devils advocate :)

      • teamonfuego(118083 comments)-
        February 25, 2009 at 4:32 pm

        I agree, however, the interest rate environment right now doesn’t compare with that of the past when the average dipped below 3. interest rates have pretty much always been significantly higher. (also, i meant to say that the historical average is actually around 3.1)

        • proudPapa(118083 comments)-
          February 25, 2009 at 4:50 pm

          true. I guess I’m probably weird in that I don’t look at the interest rate much in calculating my ability to afford stuff. Sure it’s low now, it has been pretty darn low for the last 5+ years, which is partly the reason we’re in the mess we’re in right now.

          Getting people into houses they will be able to afford at $150K because of low interest rates will just cause more grief down the road when interest rates go up…

          • Chickenpookie(118083 comments)-
            February 25, 2009 at 5:17 pm

            “Getting people into houses they will be able to afford at $150K because of low interest rates will just cause more grief down the road when interest rates go up…”

            How about if these people are given low interest fixed-rate loans instead of adjustable rate loans? Where is the grief there?

          • proudPapa(118083 comments)-
            February 25, 2009 at 5:22 pm

            Even a fixed rate isn’t *usually* given for more than a 5 year term, is it? This may change thanks to govt intervention of course, with tax payers picking up the tab of course

          • Chickenpookie(118083 comments)-
            February 25, 2009 at 6:01 pm

            “Even a fixed rate isn’t *usually* given for more than a 5 year term, is it? This may change thanks to govt intervention of course, with tax payers picking up the tab of course”

            The classic mortgage loan from WWII era was the 30 yr fixed loan, with ~20% down. The first ARM’s introduced were 30 yr and locking after 3 yrs, which was a lower initial rate than a competing fixed loan. If rates dropped further before your loan locked, you could enjoy a lower rate for the life of the loan.

            These two classic loan strategies were abandoned and not even offered in many cases during the last 5+ years, I’ve read and been told. Most of the failing loans were open-ended ARM suicide loans. The buyer had almost no way to anticipate his payment, his adjustable payment was mercilessly dependent on Fed rate policy, if rates were raised, he had almost no chance of repaying the loan…. So what happened? Mr. Greybeard raised rates with no concept of what the outcome might be, all those open ARM mortgage rates shot through the roof and the rest is history. Yes, we needed higher rates to slow the housing bubble, but Mr. Greybeard should’ve had banks lock those ARM’s (re-finance to 30 yr fixed loans) first, then raise rates. He just willy-nilly raised rates!!! Can you say CRASH AND BURN????

            Bernanke is a GIANT PUTZ!!!

  26. proudPapa(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    are using every bit of wiggle room i gave them this morning, might add to a couple positions if there looks to be an intraday turnaround…

  27. teamonfuego(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    bought more at 11.52

  28. davefairtex(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Using GLD as a proxy for POG, I noticed big volume this morning during gold’s run up, and now it seems to have really fallen off, and GLD has moved mostly sideways. I’m guessing that’s “support” in action given yesterday’s POG drop.

    I have noticed that abrupt downward moves in the S&P tend to correlate sometimes with moves in POG. When the S&P tanks hard, GLD moves up. However, gradual moves in S&P don’t seem to move GLD much at all. The S&P’s slow move back down from -17 to -10 hasn’t moved GLD one bit.

    I think the miners rallied nicely today, ignoring the mostly down market. I’m not smart enough with them to pick winners, so I just buy GDX. PIcked up some more yesterday, and wrote some April at-the-money puts in GDX. If POG range-trades, I can collect the premium, and if not, I get $3 off my GDX.

    TCK is also behaving well. Move up yesterday at end of day was dramatic, and it’s up today despite an early morning sell off. Usually when the market sneezes a little TCK gets the flu. Not so much anymore. I’d sell mine off, except I’m curious to see how the story turns out.

  29. Chickenpookie(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Well, I guess Europe closed…

  30. NYUGrad(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    http://tinyurl.com/crdmc6

    “Ex-Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain sneaked in a side door Tuesday to name names in the state’s investigation of $3.6 billion in bonuses awarded to top executives just before the firm was absorbed by Bank of America.”

  31. Paul Christiansen(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Today, TPG-Axon filed an SC-13 reflecting a purchase of $265 million in Focus Media Holding (FMCN). That’s a signficant position for a hedge fund. Earlier this year Fidelity and T Rowe Price each reported investments of over $100 million in FMCN, Fidelity’s investment being an add-on to an existing position.

    In April/May of 2008 both Fidelity and DE Shaw filed SC-13s reflecting investments of over $1 billion in FMCN.

  32. Grym(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    “The mortgage and credit sickness that brought banks and brokers to their knees has now infected the companies that insure our lives and protect our families.”

    and…

    “As a sign that the problems for insurers are getting more serious, regulators are loosening accounting standards to try to help them out.”

    http://tiny.cc/dc7D2

  33. TN_blogger(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    I wonder why my FCX is up so strong today?

    any opinions?

    • indyrjc(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 5:19 pm

      I wonder why my FCX is up so strong today?

      any opinions?

      I’ve been in FCX myself for the last couple of weeks and it has seemed to be pretty strong within a certain trading range. Volume has remained steady and it has looked like it was trying to break out on more than one occasion. My guess as to why is that Freeport is one of the best of the material stocks when it comes to the reflation that everyone thinks is coming sooner or later. Something is going on as institutional interest has remained high and there have been several days like today where FCX is strong in an otherwise down market.

      • TN_blogger(118083 comments)-
        February 25, 2009 at 5:39 pm

        Thanks for the input

        Additionally, I was wondering if the copper content of water systems would lead to FCX seeing increased and sustained demand? Copper is an excellent anti bacterial susbtance.

        Thanks early

  34. Chickenpookie(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Out @ $2.17, Not liking this action, taking small gain (0.19).

  35. sammas(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    http://www.adobe.com/support/security/advisories/a

    explains the means by which community member computers were most likely hit; website is another story. as you can read for yourself, there is no known virus scan means of detecting this thing.

    do not assume your computer is safe because a virus scan did not find anything.

    • korvus(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 9:30 pm

      Sammas,

      Thanks for posting the link to the Adobe advisory. I was thinking of doing that myself, but I’ve been a little busy the past few days.

      One thing I should point out is that while there is no virus scan to detect malicious PDFs, if such a PDF installed something on your system, a virus scanner could detect that. So I still think virus scans are likely to catch any problems caused here.

      In the advisory, it suggests turning off Javascript in Acrobat Reader until a patch is released. I think that is good advice.

      FYI, I think the server is fine now. The attack yesterday only worked because during the first attack, they installed a ‘back door’ to let them in later that I missed. I’ve not only handled that, but I also have a series of scripts running constantly that will alert my cell phone if A) modify our web pages, or B) try to install another back door. So I think we are safe now, and if I am wrong, I should know immediately so I can fix it.

      Jeff

  36. Grym(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Last week I wrote to my life insurance company requesting to cash in a life insurance policy I’ve paid on for nearly 50 years. This because I had talked with someone whose insurer had been dodging such action for over four months.

    Today I found this article.

    The next big financial meltdown?

    “The life insurance companies that millions of Americans entrust to help protect their families or pay the bills in their golden years are caught in a downward spiral eerily similar to the one that has brought down banks and brokers.”

    This is especially disturbing…

    “As a sign that the problems for insurers are getting more serious, regulators are loosening accounting standards to try to help them out.”

    Once again our “protectors” are selling us out!

    http://tiny.cc/dc7D2

  37. yvrapx(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 5:06 pm
  38. QT(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    Caraistas

    On Monday I made this post

    Heads up
    Submitted by QT (125 comments) on Mon, 02/23/2009 – 13:21 #13430

    ~~~~~~~~~~
    Wednesday 25th

    Where I said a big rally was to occur later in the day. That afternoon the market sold off bad [AGI rumor helped started it I heard] instead, but Tuesday you saw the rally. I got this from posts of some traders who I follow [big into TA and Elliott Wave]. Well a little while ago they are preparing for what I take is a massive drop in the market which could start soon. It could start within 24+hrs and last 2-3 weeks. They are joking about putting on their shorts because this will be a ride to HELL. A lot are going 100% to the downside. I joined in with them short. Just wanted to let everyone know.

    Those of you who follow Dr McHugh [sorry JackBlack I just saw your Monday posts]…. I think he is missing the boat on this C of [B] finally rally. He seems to never of gotten B of [B] right. He is always back tracking. But his phi turn dates have been spot on.

    I guess I should say do you own homework!

    • 2nd_ave(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 5:26 pm

      QT- appreciate the post.

      • QT(118083 comments)-
        February 25, 2009 at 5:32 pm

        2nd

        Check out this channel

    • jack black(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 7:12 pm

      Thanks, trying to understand the rationale here. It makes sense to predict a meltdown on overbought days (like 1/6 or 2/9, you can go back and check my posts on retesting the Nov lows) but not on oversold days like now. Yes, there are rare exceptions when oversold turned into extremely oversold (like 10/6/08, cost me dearly), but need more proof. Do you have links to these EW traders forum? McHugh had a few excellent calls back in 2008 but most of his calls are worthless. You can check the performance of his portfolio and the actively managed part stinks.

    • QT(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 9:29 pm

      On my earlier heads up…

      The latest I heard is if tomorrow or Friday, XLF hits 7.43 then this is confirmation to be short. If it does hit this level XLF will have a weekly close of 8.25.

      These guys have “—-“s of steel. They held firm and loaded up during that pathetic rally attempt by the bulls late in the day. I didn’t and dumped taking a big hit on SDS. Oooo well.. But I did reentered SDS again near the end.

      [holding SDS,QID,TWM FAZ]

  39. fireworks(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    I guess Obama must have forgot to mention this little item last night…

    A bank that received $1.6 billion in bailout money just spent a fortune last week in L.A. hosting a series of lavish parties and concerts with famous singers … and TMZ cameras caught it all.

    Northern Trust, a Chicago-based bank, sponsored the Northern Trust Open at the Riviera Country Club in L.A. We’re told Northern Trust paid millions to sponsor the PGA event which ended Sunday, but what happened off the golf course is even more shocking.

    Northern Trust flew hundreds of clients and employees to L.A. and put many of them up at some of the fanciest and priciest hotels in the city. We’re told more than a hundred people were put up at the Beverly Wilshire in Bev Hills, and another hundred stayed at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. Still more stayed at the Ritz Carlton in Marina Del Rey and others at Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica.

    Now how’s this for outrage? Northern Trust laid off 450 workers in December, 4% of its workforce.

    And here’s what’s absolutely amazing: The United States Government flat out gave Northern Trust the $1.6 billion in bailout money, and the bank didn’t even request it!

    Perhaps we’re missing something, but money is money. How can they spend like this when they’re using taxpayer’s money, whether they asked for it or not? And where the hell is Congress in all of this? Is there any oversight or accountability?

    http://tinyurl.com/ckyfnl

    • NYUGrad(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 5:42 pm

      Nothing has or will change fundamentally until a revolution begins. Not 1 person has gone to jail for any of the fleecing. Not 1!!! Even Madoff is still loose!

      this is all rhetoric trying to prevent a civil war. patchwork for a severed limb.

      I appreciate the link to the tmz article but the story really really makes me sick.

      not 1 person has gone to jail or even put on trial. Not 1!

      • bigwad1(118083 comments)-
        February 26, 2009 at 2:08 am

        Martha Stewart was tried and convicted for insider trading.
        She is now a registered felon, unable to vote, or own a gun for self defense. Doesn’t Martha count?

        • NYUGrad(118083 comments)-
          February 26, 2009 at 3:20 am

          Nope…she was pre lehman and bear

        • kevin07(118083 comments)-
          February 26, 2009 at 1:50 pm

          Martha was not convicted of insider trading, but of lying under oath. She does not have to “register” as a felon and if she is off probation she can vote.

    • sammas(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 5:50 pm

      sounds like a nice way to drum up support for the idea of ‘good’ gov taking over for those ‘evil’ bankers to me…

      hello nationli, uh, i mean public-private partnership; goodbye november lows

    • Johnny(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 6:50 pm

      Thanks for the post QT. I immediatly fired off e-mails to Obama and my 3 federal politicians. Northern Trust’s “in your face party-time” is just another example of how wacked out, decadent and craven the financial/business sectors of our nation have become.

      • photogray(118083 comments)-
        February 25, 2009 at 7:18 pm

        Thanks QT. I also emailed my elected including the President. I added the word “recapture” to incite them! HaH! lol

  40. shark_attack(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    The financial manipulation team sells the bejabbers out of gold futures to keep Uncle Baldie (God his head-shape looks like he’s from outer space, man)
    from looking like the uncle of all currency inflators.

    And they use Kaimu’s tax money to do it! How ironic.

    As it it his head is so massive it appears crammed with all sorts of facts and figures, formulas and flim-flamery essential to the interventionist central banker.

  41. proudPapa(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    usually the indexes kind of rolls over, but here it went from spike up to spike down… weird.

  42. baz22(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    Many arbs. think that CF Industries would have to raise its bid on TRA to a $ 7 Billion market cap for TRA…. that, in essence, would take CF’s bid on TRA up to the $ 40.00 range…. CF’s ceo stated they would leave open the possibility of ” further discussions ” in regards to the $ 24.00/shr. offer last month… Now, AGU comes in with a $ 72.00 cash & shares bid for CF…. I’m betting AGU will raise that to a $ 80.00 ++ bid in the coming weeks, to keep CF from going through with TRA buy-out… Win – Win for CF if AGU bumps up bid…..

  43. Seamus(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    FIRST-QUARTER LAYOFFS: Selection Of Job Cuts By Major Companies
    12:00 pm ET 02/25/2009- Dow Jones

    The following chart is a selection of some first-quarter announcements of job cuts since the beginning of the year. Some numbers are estimates.

    Company Name Date of Number of Percent
    Announcement Jobs Cut Work Force

    Nortel Networks 02/25/2009 3,200 N/A
    Lonmin PLC 02/24/2009 5,500 18%
    Spansion Inc. 02/23/2009 3,000 35%
    Micron Technology Inc. 02/23/2009 2,000 8.8%
    Anglo American 02/20/2009 19,000 11%
    Embraer 02/19/2009 4,300 20%
    Avon Products 02/19/2009 2,500-3,000 N/A
    Goodyear Tire 02/18/2009 5,000 7%
    Rockwood Holdings 02/18/2009 900 9%
    General Motors Corp. 02/17/2009 47,000 18.7%
    Chrysler LLC 02/17/2009 3,000 N/A
    Smithfield Foods 02/17/2009 1,800 3.4%
    Wal-Mart Stores 02/13/2009 1,100-1,200 -k N/A
    Pioneer Corp. 02/12/2009 10,000 -l 16% -l
    ArcelorMittal 02/11/2009 9,000 3%
    General Motors 02/10/2009 10,000 14% -g
    Unisys 02/10/2009 1,300 N/A
    UBS 02/10/2009 2,000 2.6%
    FedEx Corp. 02/09/2209 900 2.6% -j
    Anglo Platinum 02/09/2009 10,000 13%
    Nissan Motor 02/08/2009 20,000 8%
    International Rectifier 02/05/2009 850 18%
    Power-One Inc. 02/05/2009 1,000 22%
    Bombardier 02/05/2009 1,360 4.5%
    Estee Lauder 02/05/2009 2,000 6%
    Time Warner Cable 02/04/2009 1,250 3%
    Harman International 02/04/2009 1,110 9.4%
    Panasonic 02/04/2009 15,000 5%
    Electronic Arts Inc. 02/03/2009 1,100 11%
    PNC Financial Services 02/03/2009 5,800 10%
    SAS 02/03/2009 3,000 13% -h
    Atlas Copco 02/02/2009 3,000 9%
    Macy’s 02/02/2009 7,000 4%
    NEC 01/30/2009 20,000 7%
    Hitachi 01/30/2009 7,000 2%
    Caterpillar 01/30/2009 22,110 -f N/A
    American Axle 01/30/2009 3,000 N/A
    Chartered Semiconductor 01/29/2009 600 8%
    Charles Schwab Corp. 01/29/2009 500-600 3.7%-4.5%
    Black & Decker 01/29/2009 1,200 5%
    Bon-Ton Stores Inc. 01/29/2009 1,150 3%
    Eastman Kodak 01/29/2009 4,500 18%
    AstraZeneca 01/29/2009 7,400 11%
    Ford Motor Credit 01/28/2009 1,200 20%
    Boeing Co. 01/28/2009 10,000 6% -d
    Allstate Corp. 01/28/2009 1,000 -e 2.6%
    Jabil Circuit 01/28/2009 3,000 4.9%
    AOL 01/28/2009 700 10%
    Starbucks 01/28/2009 6,700 4%
    SAP 01/28/2009 3,000 6%
    STMicroelectronics 01/28/2009 4,500 9%
    Avery Dennison 01/27/2009 N/A 10%
    Baker Hughes 01/27/2009 1,500 4%
    Corning 01/27/2009 3,500 13%
    Cooper Industries 01/27/2009 2,200 7%
    Clariant 01/27/2009 1,000 5%
    Texas Instruments 01/26/2009 3,400 12%
    Home Depot 01/26/2009 7,000 2%
    Sprint Nextel 01/26/2009 8,000 13%
    Pfizer 01/26/2009 8,300 10%
    ING 01/26/2009 7,000 5%
    Philips Electronics 01/26/2009 6,000 5%
    Corus 01/26/2009 3,500 10%
    Harley-Davidson 01/23/2009 1,100 11%
    Microsoft 01/22/2009 5,000 5%
    Huntsman 01/22/2009 1,175 9%
    Intel 01/21/2009 6,000 -c 7%
    UAL 01/21/2009 1,000 2%
    Eaton 01/20/2009 5,200 6%
    Bose 01/20/2009 1,000 10%
    Rohm & Haas 01/20/2009 900 5.7%
    Clear Channel 01/20/2009 1,850 9%
    ConocoPhillips 01/16/2009 1,300 4%
    Circuit City 01/16/2009 34,000 100% -a
    Pfizer 01/16/2009 3,200 -b 3%
    AMD 01/16/2009 1,100 9%
    Hertz Global Holdings 01/16/2009 4,000 13%
    Wellpoint 01/16/2009 1,500 3.6%
    Saks 01/15/2009 1,100 9%
    MeadWestvaco 01/15/2009 2,000 10%
    Autodesk 01/15/2009 750 10%
    Motorola 01/14/2009 4,000 6%
    Barclays 01/14/2009 2,100 1.3%
    Seagate Technology 01/12/2009 800 10%
    Cessna 01/12/2009 2,000 N/A
    Walgreen 01/08/2009 1,000 9% -i
    Lenovo Group 01/08/2009 2,500 11%
    EMC 01/07/2009 2,400 7%
    Alcoa 01/06/2009 15,000 14.5%
    Cigna 01/05/2009 1,100 4%

    a. Company in liquidation
    b. Includes announcements of 2,400 cuts on Jan. 16 and 800 layoffs on Jan.
    13.
    c. Number of employees affected by plant closures, not all will lose jobs
    d. Includes Jan. 9 announcement of 4,500 layoffs from commercial-airplane staff
    e. Reductions to come over the next two years
    f. Includes 20,000 job cuts announced Jan. 26 and 2,110 announced Jan. 30
    g. 14% of salaried work force.
    h. The work force will be reduced by another 5,600 staff as divisions are divested or outsourced.
    i. The percentage represents cuts made to eligible corporate positions and certain field-management positions
    j. Percentage of work force reduced at FedEx Freight unit.
    k. Cuts include corporate headquarters staff reduction announced Feb. 10 and Georgia return center staff announced Feb 13.
    l. Cutting 6,000 permanent jobs, or 16% of global work force, plus 4,000 temporary jobs.

  44. baz22(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    Thinking arb’s will take to $ 59.00 range in next little while…. could be a great time ( kinda opposite of initial ROH/Dow deal…. take er’ down, then, Up )…..

  45. Chickenpookie(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    Well, isn’t that just what you might expect on a weak day with a stronger dollar.

  46. BillySundance(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    A friend of mine came to me with an anecdote about someone he knows who is hoping to receive some sort of mortgage bailout assistance in the form of lower rates, etc?

    The vitals:
    Home purchased $600,000
    Current home value: $400,000
    Equity in home: $30,000
    Annual Income: $150,000

    I guess what I don’t fully understand is why anyone in this situation wouldn’t just walk away and call the $30,000 a total loss. Although it would adversely affect personal credit rating this person would totally offload the $200,000 MtM loss back onto the lender (minus the $30,000 cash loss that would be eaten).

    My fear is that:

    1) Some people are just too dim-witted or delusional to realize that walking away is the most logical move. Too many people view this as losing $30,000 instead of avoiding losses of $170,000.

    2) Government is doing everything they can to dissuade people from doing this because it forces zombie banks to take a total writedown instead of pretending that this “fantasy loan” will ever be repaid. Thus the zombie bank requires increased funding from the federal government and just moves us closer to complete nationalization.

    All I hear from members of Congress and the media is to “fight for your house”. Why isn’t anyone in Congress being honest and admitting there are situations where fighting for you house is not in your best interest – why won’t they tell some people to just walk away? Is it because Congress is well aware it’s the Federal government (not the already insolvent bank) who is on the hook if you walk away?

    As a side note, last night, when Congress cheered Obama on the topic of correcting the Federal Budget deficit, there were more than a few people to whom I wanted to reach through the television and smack the CENSORED eating grins off their faces.

    • Seamus(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 6:47 pm

      “why anyone in this situation wouldn’t just walk away”

      Certainly something to consider if one is in that situation. However, one example would be someone with a security clearance. If you walk away, you lose your job, perhaps it’s your chosen career. You’d be less likely to walk.

      Although Americans (up to recently) move something like once every 6 years or so, some may look upon their home as, hmm, . . . their home instead of a purely financial investment. May be more important to some than others. And yes, you mentioned the effect of losing your credit rating.

      Depends on personal circumstances. Nevertheless, some will walk. Question is if you do walk, where do you walk to? Always helps to have a plan.

      • proudPapa(118083 comments)-
        February 25, 2009 at 7:09 pm

        ” Question is if you do walk, where do you walk to? “

        Yeah, bad credit rating sucks. But we’re in a period where anything less than stellar credit won’t get you anywhere anyhow.

        And rental rates are bound to come down as vacant homes/condos shoot up and people are desperate to get renters. I think it will reach a point where, yes, everyones credit rating is toast, but you gotta rent to somebody, so the rating will be overlooked.

        This is why i figure it would almost be better to loosen bankruptcy laws. Once again, the free market will probably come to the conclusion that broken credit ratings are the norm, and will start overlooking foreclosures, etc. The govt could speed this up by formalizing it. Not a suggestion as I haven’t thought about it much, but again, prob better than $10t thrown at banks and bankers

      • korvus(118083 comments)-
        February 25, 2009 at 7:35 pm

        That’s a good point. When going through the clearance process myself, I looked at a bunch of the rulings related to people having security clearance pulled. A big one is discharging debts in bankruptcy, or similar acts. Interestingly, if you just reorganize your debts and make a good faith effort to pay them off, that seems to be viewed favorably by the government, even though being in that much debt is often a red flag. But any attempt to walk away from your obligations seems to be a viable reason for them to take your clearance.

  47. Chickenpookie(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    Gold is showing some strength, and looks like gold miners showing some strength, but the sequence is unconfirmed. With POO showing minor strength, we need that to show up in base metals, (TCK doing well but is it correlative?) RTP XTA RIO.

    This must be a gold buying opportunity…

  48. TN_blogger(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    the month was May and the info has changed.

  49. kaimu(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    ALOHA !!

    Insurance companies have become dependents of government(US TAXPAYERS), rightly so, since they are really no different than banks. From an investor standpoint insurance companies are worse since many of their products require that you pay “surrender fees”, so you are punished for taking your own money out too soon! You hand a bank your hard earned money and they promise it will be safe and your account will grow with the “almighty” interest return. The “interest” payout has always been the lure and without FDIC, banks and bankers would now be in soup lines or strung up dangling from bridges!

    The concept goes back hundreds of years when “warehouse receipts” were first issued to store your gold, only now the scam has degraded even further into storing “paper”(FRN)in exchange for a “paper” receipt and where upon that peper receipt is insured with more “paper” on top of the original paper. In essence you cannot insure worthless paper with worthless paper and so the FIAT system infects the business model for all the WAREHOUSES of the World, where supposed “wealth” is stored. Insurance companies are WAREHOUSES of worthless paper and they also gladly exchange a “warehouse receipt” for your accumulated “paper” wealth as they along with banks make promises and then they take your “wealth” and RISK it by leveraging your premiums on your behalf along with the banks. Only you the original “depositor” of “paper wealth” have no idea where the hell your money is being risked every minute of the day. In modern society all those deposits go into two black holes of LOANS backed by DERIVATIVES! When I see a major insurer like Lloyds bragging about a 1% ROI it seems surreal! Then there is AIG …

    It comes down to this … As surely as you cannot SPEND YOURSELF TO PROSPERITY you also cannot INSURE YOURSELF TO PROSPERITY!

    Banks and insurance companies are simply in the business of LEVERAGE!

    As I stated I REDEEMED all Annuities in 2006 and paid the taxes since I did not want to entrust those funds to highly leveraged insurance companies who’s basis for wealth generation was built upon derivatives.

    Before I redeemed these annuities I asked my Merrill Lynch broker what guarantees these Annuities will perform and his reply was the insurance company mainly, but if that failed then each State has its own guarantor program, like an FDIC only at the State level. I REDEEMED anyway …

    Well, AIG is in trouble and everyone keeps yapping about its the “holding company”(parent)and that the State will save your funds. Hummmm … last I looked the States were in trouble just like AIG and now we have a huge STIMULUS and more AIG BAILOUTS on the way and more for banks disguised as “Bernanke’s 3 Point Plan!” … The Annuity reps say all is FINE in ANNUITY WORLD and they sound incredibly like banks did last year!

    It all boils down to the “C WORD” and once the “C WORD” is gone then so goes the TRUST!

    Please read this Q&A put on by all the Annuity reps trying to “calm nerves” back in Sept 2008 …

    Annuity link: http://www.annuityiq.com/blog/main/relax-on-aig/

    In other words … HANG YOUR HAT ON BAILOUTS!

    After reading this link and the Q&A at the bottom from “real annuity” holders I have to ask. Why is it the US TAXPAYER must guarantee bank and insurance customers? Who guarantees my customers who buy orchids? Who guarantees MSFTs customers? Or Apples customers? Isn’t that just another CORPORATE WELFARE scam that benefits just the banks and insurers? Look how much those guarantees have cost the US TAXPAYERS now. If MSFT fails US TAXPAYERS loose nothing! WHO DIED AND MADE BANKS AND INSURANCE “COMPANIES” GOD? They are after all just companies selling a product like MSFT or any other company in the World! Essentially without those US TAXPAYER funded guarantees nobody would leave their money at any of these banks and insurance companies would they? Because without those guarantees they would have depositors. This is why these are POLIT-BANKS … FIAT BANKS BACKED BY POLITICAL AGENDAS! Nothing more …

    Back to the Q&A link dated Sept 2008 …

    With over a year of hindsight it all boils down to one SAVIOR … Only ONE GUARANTOR and that is the US TAXPAYER. The entire World is depending on the US TAXPAYER to essentially “backstop”(remember that word from last year?)the World’s failures. Without a viable World Reserve Currency where does that leave the FIAT EMPIRE? Who “backstops” the World’s Reserve Currency? EHHHH … WRONG! Its NOT the US government! Look in the mirror for the answer …

    None of these guarantees and backstops mean a damn thing in a monetary crisis. Worthless money is just that …

    The DEFLATION of the US Dollar’s purchasing power has been completely ignored by government and the US FED, but mainly by US citizens. The chickens are here and they want to roost but the US government will not let them!

    Look what we are now forced to do, as average citizens with no real power and no real representation in government, to protect our diminishing wealth! It boggles the mind …

    Bill’s commentary is right on and so is the quote from TerryC …

    ALL OUR BEST THINKING …

    • Dr. Strangelove(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 9:30 pm

      kaimu –

      I smell Warren Buffett all over the Bernake speech yesterday like a modern day J.P. Morgan. Wonder if The Sage called all these clowns into a room and made the mother of all deals to save the fiat cartel and his own buy and hold hide?!

      It involves convertible options to treasuries for AIG, JPMorgan Chase, et al. Slow and steady transfer of taxpayer assets is the way to avoid revolution. Just a hunch.

  50. jack black(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    In at 19 out at 20.5. Probably sold way too early, but it’s psychologically hard to be against the herd.

    As soon as the limit order went through it shoot up to 20.89, not complaining, but typical of my trades.

    • Chickenpookie(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 7:36 pm

      jack – “it’s psychologically hard to be against the herd.”

      I’d have to say a majority of the herd has been running off the cliff. Certainly, parts of the herd have not. So which part of the herd are you running against?

      I guess what I’m saying is it appears to me you’ve managed not to run off the cliff, DZZ was a great play… It’s okay to play against the herd!

  51. davefairtex(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    Boy, watching the GLD chart really makes me wonder about who is buying and selling. Things click along fine, price goes up or down slowly, and then somebody suddenly decides they want to really sell. And then the price collapses, with 5-10 times normal volume.

    If I were going to intervene, and I had a limited budget, I’d wait for volume to die down, and for whatever price movement to slow down, and then I’d slam the market with a big sell order. That would trip everyone’s stops and down we would go. It might even be profitable, if I could see where everyone’s stops were and calculate just how much I had to sell to trip them, and to cover the shorts once a certain number of stops were tripped.

    All I know for sure is, the price movement in GLD is pretty interesting. Maybe its HB&B, maybe it’s the Fed, I dunno. But it seems when the fundamental interest one way or the other dies down, you can pretty much have your way.

    • Dr. Strangelove(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 8:07 pm
    • sammas(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 11:29 pm

      “if I could see where everyone’s stops were and calculate just how much I had to sell to trip them”

      let me see if i have this right: brokerages have online trading platforms that traders enter trades into and can set stops with that will execute trades based on specified triggers and, IF someone knew what those were, they could make a good deal of money trading against them.

      that scenario is INCREDIBLY EASY to accomplish. worse, with all that liquidity from GLD/SLV, it could be accomplished with essentially zero risk using the money of the very people perplexed about the price movements of the underlying metals.

      much like not reading prospectuses, not understanding information technology, for whatever reason, does not mean that you are immune from the consequences.

      • Vadym Graifer(118083 comments)-
        February 26, 2009 at 1:23 am

        Re: stop gunning.

        Keep in mind that the hard stop placement is being accomplished by one of two means, depending on particular software: broker side or client side.

        In the former case your stop is actually submitted to a broker and yes, a subject of “espionage”. Advantage is, no matter what happens with your internet connection or computer, your stop is already in.

        In the latter case your stop order resides on your computer up to the moment it’s being triggered. Then the sell (or buy to cover) order is being submitted. This kind is not in danger of being peeped by a broker; disadvantage is, if your connection goes down or computer crashes, your order is not going to be sent when the triggering event happens.

        In reality though this doesn’t matter much. Consider how many clients solid brokerage has, how many of them are doing different kinds of trades on different stocks – who has the time to analyze and compile it all, come up with strategy, realize it in practice etc, especially considering that such activity must be kept limited to what, 1-2 people, in order to keep it secret? Now imagine how many brokerages are there – in order for this to be reliably profitable, they would have to coordinate this action which is unimaginable task.

        However, there is simply no need in all this. Stop gunning can be done successfully without all that cumbersome and illegal stuff by simply understanding where the most participants place their stops. Actual and real difficulty in executing successful stop gunning is not in knowing where particular traders placed their particular stops – it’s in finding the opportunity to trigger them without committing too much capital, lest stop gunner gets steamrolled. If, however, he is good enough to understand where most stops are located, manage to trigger them, catch the climax of the resulting move and enter his long or cover his short at that point – well, he is fantastic trader and he gets well-deserved and quite legal reward.

        • Chickenpookie(118083 comments)-
          February 26, 2009 at 1:30 am

          I wonder if it’s possible to ride shotgun with the Stop Gunners?

          • bobbyo(118083 comments)-
            February 26, 2009 at 1:53 am

            Chickie, Read above post, but I believe that is one method Vad uses.
            Bob

          • Vadym Graifer(118083 comments)-
            February 26, 2009 at 2:28 am

            Absolutely! Good question is an answer in itself :)

            I knew I have already written something about that so I dug it out: http://www.realitytrader.com/blog/2007/05/stops-de

            You will find exactly that closer to the end of the article labeled as offensive approach.

          • Chickenpookie(118083 comments)-
            February 26, 2009 at 5:09 am

            Got it, thanks Vad! I’ve thought about this strategy before, but never have attempted (Okay, only by accident?). It seems like a variation on knife catching, with a slight twist..

          • Vadym Graifer(118083 comments)-
            February 26, 2009 at 6:18 am

            Oh, it’s a bit different from garden variety knife catching. Look at it this way: there is a valid setup, let’s say Cup and Handle (I like this one as an example because it’s easy to visualize, thus convenient in a post like this). You know you are not in a bull market favorable for breakouts, and you see a lot of shakeouts, so you decide to deploy this strategy instead of just buying the break. You let the break go and wait for a trap to close: sharp quick decline UNDER the handle bottom (that’s where the standard stop are placed). When the price touches under that bottom, you’ll see another wave of selling – those are stops being triggered. Now, the volume of this second wave will be roughly equal the volume of the break+initial movement, as those who bought the break will be exiting. It won’t be exact of course but it will be more or less in the area. As this second wave of selling quiets down and stock pauses, this is your entry for the snapback.

            As you see, it’s a quite structured play, nothing like arbitrary bottom fishing. It’s fully based on exploiting of the standard psychology… and I have to say, this kind of plays is extremely satisfying. You are no longer part of the crowd, you don’t get trapped – you observe the trap and learn to avoid it and use it. Except of course those times when breakout works and stock goes without you… but nothing works always.

          • Chickenpookie(118083 comments)-
            February 26, 2009 at 6:34 am

            Yes I see, not knife catching but intelligent response to stop gunner strategy. I’m going to study this more and try my hand…

        • bobbyo(118083 comments)-
          February 26, 2009 at 1:49 am

          Vad.

          The gunner (market maker)on large spikes IMHO really does not have that much risk because he is trying to provide liquidity for a known large order at a particular price. Excuse my ignorance since I have not read your books yet, but is this not the set up that you anticipate with your tape reading skills?

          • Vadym Graifer(118083 comments)-
            February 26, 2009 at 2:34 am

            bobbyo, I am not sure I understand what you mean when saying “he is trying to provide liquidity for a known large order at a particular price”.

            Market maker, as I would put it, is trying to FIND liquidity for a client’s order, right? Then, if he is looking for sellers to fulfill client’s buy order, he must go against that order by selling his own shares in order to trigger stops and selloff, thus still risking his capital.

            Is this what you mean or I misunderstood?

          • bobbyo(118083 comments)-
            February 26, 2009 at 3:16 am

            Yes your right that is what I mean. I was not insinuating that he was doing anything wrong providing the liquidity. I guess I just poo pooed his risk since his spread will increase. Here is an example of how I think it works please correct me where I’m wrong.

            Lehman brothers wants to by 100,000 shares of Citi bank at (I guess that is not a big trade now a days) $2.50 which is at the current ASK, but there is only 5000 shares available at that price. To complete the trade the Maker needs 95,000 shares. Does not the Maker start selling his or her own shares in small blocks to Lehman at an incrementally lower price down to $2.29 where everyone had had their stops. Taking out everyone’s stops gets the needed shares moves it back up incrementally were he can sell the majority of the shares at the $2.50 limit and make a size able spread.

            Thanks for your reply ahead of time.
            Bob

          • Vadym Graifer(118083 comments)-
            February 26, 2009 at 3:56 am

            Bob,

            you are describing one of scenarios; there are many others possible depending on terms negotiated between MM and client. In your example, market maker uses his own shares to keep the stock under the limit indicated by his client; in the end it will mean that he will have to buy back those shares he sold on top of the shares for client. Herein lies the risk. Imagine for instance that he is not successful in suppressing the price – not only won’t he be able to fulfill the order but he will also have to cover his short, right? Which, if he is not successful in keeping the price down means he will have to take the loss. The stricter the range a client set and the hotter the stock, the tougher his, market maker’s, task.

            Then there are practically riskless terms where client is not very strict and market maker pockets the spread they negotiated. This is where you see the following:
            – stock is moving up, suddenly someone with 100 shares displayed sets on the offer and won’t badge no matter how much shares buyers take.
            – he sits there for quite a while, then suddenly huge block appears on the tape at, for instance 10 cents lower than the current price;
            – seller disappears and stock moves higher (if buyers haven’t run out of steam of course).
            What happened in this case is:
            – MM had a sell order for, say 100K shares;
            – he found the ‘equilibrium price” where a lot of buyers wanted shares but not a lot of sellers would compete with him;
            – he sold all he could at this price effectively going short 100K shares;
            – he transfered 100K shares from client’s account to his own effectively fulfilling client’s order and covering his short – that what that huge block 10 cents below was;
            – in the process he pocketed 10 cents of the reward.

            While he kept a lid on the movement, traders wondered why won’t he move higher and get better price. Answer is: he doesn’t have to, who knows how many other sellers would join him at the higher prices and how willing would buyers be there; he was happy with this level where buyers were taking it all while he had little competition; and his reward was pre-negotiated.

            Hope it brings clarity and not confusion :)

          • bobbyo(118083 comments)-
            February 26, 2009 at 4:27 am

            Vad,
            Thank you, Of coarse your last example would be more appealing to the market maker.
            Bob

  52. NYUGrad(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    made $300. Waiting for prices, stoch, rsi to signal

    • salty(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 7:55 pm

      I’m also waiting for the signals to align … and see a gap down at about 5.50-5.64 that may just be waiting to be filled.
      S

  53. Pillzilla(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    doji on the daily..slo stoch just crossed over rsi turned as well…in for a swing at 6.68

  54. 2nd_ave(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    this is not a confidence play, it’s a short-squeeze play…and keeping it small…

    • 2nd_ave(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 8:17 pm

      no faith, man..

      • 2nd_ave(118083 comments)-
        February 25, 2009 at 8:24 pm

        the bulls need to go all out here and show more conviction…i don’t see the market going anywhere if they can’t squeeze the shorts in the financial sector…

        • Mark Barry(118083 comments)-
          February 25, 2009 at 8:33 pm

          Nice play. Sold 1/2 of my PXP @ 5% gain…afraid to hold it all with earnings after the close.

          • 2nd_ave(118083 comments)-
            February 25, 2009 at 8:42 pm

            Mark- It just doesn’t look good for financials. Nothing they say can put bids under the banks. They’re not saying enough, and what little they do say is construed as stonewalling (ie, the SOS).

          • Mark Barry(118083 comments)-
            February 25, 2009 at 8:57 pm

            2nd-Agreed. I have no exposure here long term. I have made a few small plays on momentum only. PXP now down about 1.5% since I sold…maybe others have the same fears.
            Back out to the job.(edit..make that 2.5%)

  55. TN_blogger(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    Volume sure is improving on NYSE & NADQ…IMO

  56. teamonfuego(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    sold some at 11.75 that i bought yesterday at 11.27.

    bought some WX at 4.4.

  57. dr.cosa(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    i must be crazy but i just went back into the HGU @ 11.70 for quick trade.
    out at $11.95, stop loss at $11.50.

    something just felt right for the very very short term.

    love how crude oil tracked the USD price higher today, and looks to be breaking back out again. will people now say there is a paradigm shift in oil now that its moving up along w/ the USD?

    • Dr. Strangelove(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 8:57 pm

      Dr Cosa –

      How about FSLR oversold to $108 on weak results set for a mini rebound tomorrow. No position … yet.

    • Chickenpookie(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 9:09 pm

      “love how crude oil tracked the USD price higher today, and looks to be breaking back out again.”

      I’m guessing the gasoline consumption report was today’s bus driver.

  58. Chickenpookie(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    Thought I would take another look outside of our circus ring at some of the other worldly activities; Pelosi’s Botox seemed to be seeping into my brain lately…

    http://chinaview.cn/hjt090210/

  59. David(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    500 shares at $6.68. Placed a sell limit order at $7.48. Will be content to hold these shares for a year, if necessary. That is, as long as silver doesn’t drop below $8 for a long time, SLW will survive and WILL double its silver sales in a year. I doubt that silver will be much lower in a year, and with a double output the SLW should be MUCH higher in a year.

  60. Pillzilla(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    from what I can tell, you set no stops, often finding yourself 20%+ down and yet somehow nearly all your trades make it to the price targets. Good luck and I appreciate your opinions. SLW, I will not be holding till eternity as I have a much more conservative 7$ sell target with a stop plan in place as well.

    • David(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 9:27 pm

      It helps to be detached from results. That’s what Bhagavad Gita teaches us: do the right thing (e.g., buy low the stocks with a long bright future and set limit orders at good profit targets) and don’t worry about the results. :))

  61. jock(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    Otto expects that silver is cooling off. He explains with a typically good turn of phrase:

    “Silver is more constrained [than gold] by traditional Adam Smith-like factors of supply and demand. This because its supply is largely as a by-product of industrial metals and its demand has a larger proportion of commodity-based uses. It’s not simply a store of wealth like gold. Silver strengthening against gold would imply, therefore and theoretically, a better world economy, so maybe we can follow this [silver to gold]ratio chart as a sentiment guide. When is the recession going to end? Bernanke’s pie-in-the-sky 2009? Roubini’s L-shaped lost decade to come? My own thumb-in-the-air guess of late 2010?”

    http://incakolanews.blogspot.com/2009/02/chart-of-

    • proudPapa(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 9:38 pm

      You could argue another way for a positive move in silver:

      If silver is by-product of industrial metals mining, then a deep recession, reducing base metals demand, reduces by-product mining, hence less silver supply.

      I suppose it’s a tug of war between reduced supply and the reduced industrial demand of silver itself. But I think if the current situation keeps up or gets worse, silver demand as a poor-mans gold will outstrip the lost industrial demand.

      I know when i go to kitco to think about buying more physical, it’s pretty tough coughing up almost $1300 CDN for an ounce of gold, but $22 for an ounce of silver, doesn’t hurt as much. It’s an irrational response, but one I suspect resonates the masses…

  62. jock(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    What’s new here, everyman, is that neither Argentina nor Ecuador had defaulted for a while. What’s new is the timing, and the liklihood of further curtailing lending to countries mining companies are counting on to increase supply of minerals.

  63. jock(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Volcker’s recent speech, which someone posted here some days ago, is appearing on various blogs.

    Readinng it again motivated me to write the White House, my Senator and my Congressman to ask that TurboTaxTimmy be replaced immediately, and that Volcker drafted as Treasury Secretary.

    (OK, I’m don Quijote, tilting at windmills, but it makes me feel better to DO something…)

    http://www.bii.wii.blogspot.com

    (among others)

    • everyman(118083 comments)-
      February 26, 2009 at 1:40 pm

      How about Volcker for president. We need to replace ALL the novices with proven experience effective and wise.

  64. loannetter(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Hey guys, the market direction upward is not helping my rates today. Could you knock it down a tad with some of your famed reality check? Love those bonds!

  65. fireworks(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    Negative sales can’t be good for sales commissions…

    It sounds like a bad joke, but it’s true: The downtown residential market is so awful, it’s shrinking.

    Last year, the number of new condominiums slated downtown declined by almost 3,000 units. And in the fourth quarter, the number of residential sales was a negative 250 units.

    They are the worst results anybody can recall for the reports, which the company has compiled in quarterly updates since 1997.

    Gail Lissner, vice president at Appraisal Research, said the residential inventory fell as developers scrapped projects they would have delivered in a couple of years. The sales figures went negative in late 2008, she said, because buyers began canceling contracts and some developers were caught fudging sales data from earlier in the year.

    http://tinyurl.com/aqe3pe

  66. Seamus(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    CBOE unit to offer fear-based futures

    Mini-VIX futures

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=

  67. fireworks(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    I wonder if Madoff came up with this “hotline” idea to save time…

    In a hearing which exposed failures by the government’s financial police, Congressman Stephen Lynch (D-Massachusetts) highlighted the existence of a “hotline,” which he said could be used by Wall Street firms to call off government inspectors.

    During the hearing, Congressman Lynch said that current and former SEC employees complained to him about the existence of a “hotline” used by Wall Street firms to call directly to top SEC officials to “stop an investigation or slow it down.”

    “The other thing that I keep hearing from some current SEC and former SEC is that there is a hotline. I was told that senior SEC management had actually gone to a financial services industry conference and basically said to the firms out there ‘If you feel that you are being too aggressively investigated, then I want you to call this office,'” Lynch said.

    A spokesman for the SEC declined to comment for this report.

    http://tinyurl.com/dm4sn2

  68. Grym(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    loannetter,

    From English novelist, Ivy Compton-Burnett:

    “We have seen some real life…a thing I have always wanted to see.
    But now I don’t want to see any more as long as I live.”

  69. Grym(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    loannetter,

    From English novelist, Ivy Compton-Burnett:

    “We have seen some real life…a thing I have always wanted to see.
    But now I don’t want to see any more as long as I live.”

    • loannetter(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 11:44 pm

      Agreed. It seems we have become life imitating art, i.e., diabolical reality TV shows that suggest everyone in America is hell bent to knock over their friends and connive their way to a million dollars!

  70. NYUGrad(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    http://tinyurl.com/d7gyl2
    “The government set a six-month deadline for the biggest 19 U.S. banks to raise any new capital deemed necessary after a mandatory review of their balance sheets.

    The regulators will complete their so-called stress tests by the end of April, which will identify how much extra cushion each bank will need, the Treasury said today in Washington. Lenders will have six months to raise private capital or accept government funds and the conditions that come with it.”

    I would compare all this to having a toilet that does not flush and being force to continue to use it everyday.

    EDIT: “The regulators will complete their so-called stress tests by the end of April”

    Um April? where will BAC, GE, Citi be trading by then? this is nuts.

    • Chickenpookie(118083 comments)-
      February 25, 2009 at 10:56 pm

      “I would compare all this to having a toilet that does not flush and being force to continue to use it everyday.”

      Now there’s a great analogy… Fits the situation quite well. Crap, we’ll just put the entire economy on hold while they study feasibility of the banking model. Wonder what the conclusion might be, care to guess?

      I smell a rat; collect income taxes April 15, then delay while substituting a load of IOU’s for return distributions. They’d better start selling a bunch more bonds!!!

      What a bunch of buffoons!

      • TN_blogger(118083 comments)-
        February 25, 2009 at 11:13 pm

        Not to mention…the cram down ellusions. lol

    • 2nd_ave(118083 comments)-
      February 26, 2009 at 2:01 am

      “I would compare all this to having a toilet that does not flush and being forced to continue using it everyday.”

      There are schools in Africa that students refuse to attend not because they need to work, or because they feel unsafe, but because the ‘restrooms’ are never cleaned. Some consist of concrete slabs, period. Some have stalls with no doors. Shit piled behind the doors and in the hand basins.

      Now if we’re talking about toxic assets piled behind the doors of C/BAC/JPM/WFC, then what they need is to hire a CLEANER. One who specializes in assessing the kind of crime scenes we have here. Who has the patience to meticulously remove the bio-matter from each part/blade of a jet turbine engine into which two dozen pigeons have been mangled. There are people like that out there. Geithner should hire a few of them.

      • Gary(118083 comments)-
        February 26, 2009 at 2:22 am

        Non Flush Toilet, I had to respond. Meridith Whitney, has opened a new advisory service, re ROTO ROOTER. The new company specializes in cleaning Bank Drains where toxic sludge has acquired and is difficult to remove.

        So far the Fed,Sec,Treasury, has not requested her services. This woman has acquired a reputation for being able to sniff out a dirty bank sewer, and has the appropriate snake to put down the drain.

        • 2nd_ave(118083 comments)-
          February 26, 2009 at 2:25 am

          Gary- Whitney would be a good choice.

      • vinod(118083 comments)-
        February 26, 2009 at 3:38 am
        • 2nd_ave(118083 comments)-
          February 26, 2009 at 4:10 am

          vinod- NOTHING stops the uncertainty/restores confidence/clears the way for recovery like the truth. That applies to alcoholics, to pregnant teens, to failing students, to anyone who —– up. It’s like an universal law of life that cannot be circumvented. I wish the bankers would just tell us they ——- up, big time, and let us get on with it. Personally, I’m less interested in jail time or restitution than in knowing where the dead bodies are. Then we can get on with it. (Stress test, my —. They already know.)

  71. NYUGrad(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 10:32 pm
    • ych(118083 comments)-
      February 26, 2009 at 12:42 am

      Heh, this is funny.

      I don’t understand why UBS don’t just say “OK, we will keep your name secret. But since we are closing our U.S. operations, we would like to close your account. Please designate a U.S. based bank account that we can wire your money into. If you don’t comply within 7 days, we will consider the account abandoned.”

      half in jest.

  72. bobj(118083 comments)-
    February 25, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    Someone may have already posted this. If so, sorry. This is another post about “Owing GLD Can Be Hazardous To Your Wealth” http://tinyurl.com/ca2zlt
    I felt it was well done.

  73. Grym(118083 comments)-
    February 26, 2009 at 12:43 am
    • Chickenpookie(118083 comments)-
      February 26, 2009 at 1:26 am

      Grym – “Now our mayor is up for reelection. His big push for jobs is tourism! (He’ll probably win judging from his competition).”

      Did he specify where the tourists might come from? Maybe he’s anticipating
      Chinese or Japanese might like to visit? On my next US vacation, I’ll visit Yellowstone/Grand Tetons/and work my way north to Glacier N.P. from there. The Grand Canyon is just proof that if you dig a hole deep enough, everyone will want to jump in, I recommend they try a reverse drag shoot for that! Besides, it’s very hot there in summer.

  74. David(118083 comments)-
    February 26, 2009 at 1:25 am

    stop 3.27, limit 3.35, 500 shares. I have just noticed that the palladium price came down strongly in the past few days, which might explain the drop in SWC. That’s not dangerous — palladium will zoom up together with the precious metals soon, when the next leg up begins. I was worried that it’s drop is due to someone sniffing something out about the GM bankruptcy, but now I think it is just the drop in the palladium price. If that is the case, then SWC is a BUY!

  75. 2nd_ave(118083 comments)-
    February 26, 2009 at 2:20 am

    Grym-

    “long term “Buy and Hold” is a fairy tale of times past.”

    Absolutely. I would simply be buying in the AZ and selling in the DZ for the 7-year-old. Hoping CTAB comes up with an ETF for the Cara 100 stocks by sector, actually.

    As for mayoral campaigns using tourism as a platform, I am planning to take a road trip with my youngest when he turns 12. If you can recommend anything specific in/beyond Grant Park/the Loop/Lakeshore Drive/the Southside, let me know. Any ‘kid-friendly’ blues clubs in particular.

  76. Quasi(118083 comments)-
    February 26, 2009 at 2:39 am

    Current technology is flat panel, ie ESLR and FSLR etc.

    However there is another system which has been around for 20 years, CPV, concentrated photovoltaics. IE magnify the sun, 50, 500 or 2000 times with simple optics and then focus it on a small photocell. One cell instead of several hundred or thousands and the optic concentrators are cheap.

    Historical problem was always the thermal heat, typical cells do not like high temps but newer cells are being developed which can tolerate much higher temperatures, although nothing like 2000 suns. So now the technology from modern computer CPU cooling techniques is coming to CPV to help with the cooling.

    From the IBM article “…Concentrating the equivalent of 2000 suns on such a small area generates enough heat to melt stainless steel, something the researchers experienced first hand in their experiments. But by borrowing innovations from its own R&D in cooling computer chips, the team was able to cool the solar cell from greater than 1600 degrees Celsius to just 85 degrees Celsius.”

    My take is this will be the future direction for any large scale utility type power generation installations. The technology has been proven and tested in several test installations around the world. I don’t know if ESLR or FLSR are involved in high temp stuff, haven’t seen it on their websites before, so will have to dig into that one again.

    http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/242
    http://www.33pvsc.org/public/manuscripts/Mpublic25
    http://pepei.pennnet.com/display_article/344420/17

    • proudPapa(118083 comments)-
      February 26, 2009 at 3:41 am

      an interesting TED talk on non-PV solar technology…

      http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/bill_gross_on_n

      • Quasi(118083 comments)-
        February 26, 2009 at 4:36 am

        Thanks for the link ProudPapa,

        Very interesting guy, I’ll have to check out more of his stuff. I agree with his comments that storage is the big problem.

        His concept reminds me of a company I used to own, Stewart Energy. They made hydrogen generators you could power with a wind generator, the hydrogen is then the storage medium, which is converted back to electricity on demand thru a hydrogen fuel cell.

  77. Mackinaw(118083 comments)-
    February 26, 2009 at 2:57 am

    Having just watched Obama’s Address to Congress, and Bernanke’s second day of testimony, I feel a little rally music is in order…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdGX_FcvVoE

    or perhaps…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzlFaY0s_QI

    Oh, and btw, does anyone know a good vehicle to short Commercial Real Estate in the U.S.?

    • Dr. Strangelove(118083 comments)-
      February 26, 2009 at 4:31 am

      Mac –

      SRS, short real estate

  78. EDC(118083 comments)-
    February 26, 2009 at 3:41 am

    Been watching this one for a whlie… and I am scared now. Not since Sept have I have I been worried.

    Blow out could be soon and if it comes it wont be pretty.

    Deleveraging again and yeah gold will get hit hard too.. been looking like a top to me for about a week.

    Set your stops as we may get a brief rally prior to blood and carnage. Hope I am wrong.

  79. vanillabean(118083 comments)-
    February 26, 2009 at 4:10 am

    Is anyone having a tough week besides me?

    I look for patterns to interpret the world around me. Tonight I went to costco and it was spoooookingly empty.

    Extraordinary times and (i hoped i spelled it right since I had a glass of wine)

    In reference to trading, I am buying miners today. Hedging with RF and regional banks.

    vb

    • yvrapx(118083 comments)-
      February 26, 2009 at 4:18 am

      vb
      Costco mid week is a great time to go, no crowds. We generally go on weekends and it is hell, recession or not people like their 2k bags of jelly beans. On the topic of, world around you observations. Was in Bellevue Center w/my wife and son and it was packed, although it was a weekend. What I noticed was the lack of decent discounts and a clear limit to inventory/selection. Inventories look to be managed better but at the expense of selection. Wish Costco’s in Canada sold wine and beer there are some terrific deals!

      • proudPapa(118083 comments)-
        February 26, 2009 at 4:28 am

        We actually have a costco with a costco liquor store attached here in Edmonton, but their prices are no better than Superstore (Loblaws?) and their selection is even worse.

        Here in edmonton I’d say the consumer has been surprisingly stubborn, malls are still busy all the time, etc. Easy to believe we’ll escape the storm because we have oil, but if it stays where it is for the rest of the year, we’re screwed. And I think it will.

        Had a debate with my cubicle mate, the guy who scored big with options a year ago, and lost more than half of everything since. It’s funny, he’s still optimistic, mind you he’s turned his monitor off and doesn’t follow the markets anymore. I believe him when he says he feels better not watching, but I watch for him and I can’t even imagine (has ridden BAC down from 23, doubling down at 9 and 7).

        Anyhow, even he is optimistic on the economy in general, thinks Obama will turn things around. Points to people still going to restaurants, buying stuff, etc. But I feel like that is mostly a lagging indicator. Few think hard times could hit them. Most continue to spend what they don’t have, or at least every last cent they do. I still think that will change as well…

        Not sure if I had a point, kept getting interrupted by my kids :)

  80. NYUGrad(118083 comments)-
    February 26, 2009 at 4:17 am

    http://tinyurl.com/chn7wy

    Dogs are starting to eat dogs

  81. proudPapa(118083 comments)-
    February 26, 2009 at 4:21 am

    Just noticing you using a lot more censured expletives the last couple of days. Trust me, it doesn’t bother me in the least, just curious since I’ve been following your posts for over a year and it seems only mildly out of character. Also you seem to have stepped away from trading…

    I went all cash for about the last two weeks and wow did it feel good. I figured the double bottom was a good time to place bets cause it either:

    a) bounces and I can make some money
    b) plunges through, in which case we’ll probably all have bigger worries…

    • vanillabean(118083 comments)-
      February 26, 2009 at 5:11 am

      proud papa,

      things are changing here in the sf bay area. tension building, you feel it everywhere.

      vb

      • Chickenpookie(118083 comments)-
        February 26, 2009 at 5:59 am

        I’ll bet things are changing in the Bay Area, have home prices fallen much / more than usual qty. homes on the market yet? Everyone looking at each other for some sign of panic / calmness?

  82. EDC(118083 comments)-
    February 26, 2009 at 5:58 am

    manage your risk.

  83. vanillabean(118083 comments)-
    February 26, 2009 at 6:05 am

    cp.

    my opinion is panic on the brink.

    • Chickenpookie(118083 comments)-
      February 26, 2009 at 6:22 am

      I can imagine, people will usually surprise themselves and others with a show of resiliency, look at each other and shake their heads then go on about their business. What else can they do?

      • vanillabean(118083 comments)-
        February 26, 2009 at 6:39 am

        repeat

      • vanillabean(118083 comments)-
        February 26, 2009 at 6:41 am

        Thw local news here TONIGHT in SF is talking about splitting the state of CA in 2 states

        can’t believe this is happening

  84. davefairtex(118083 comments)-
    February 26, 2009 at 8:39 am

    Wow, great dialog on stop gunning after I went to sleep… :)

    I guess the genesis of my original post asking about the topic had to do with manipulating the price of gold. I have a background in trading room systems software engineering – well 15 years ago anyway. My question is, could I implement a system to drive down gold prices using short sales (and subsequent short covering) at well-chosen moments in a market with low volume and – at the very least – break even in the process? Seems like its a hard task based on Vad’s description, but perhaps not impossible if you chose your moments carefully.

    Motivation for such a system:
    a) the Fed’s desire to keep the POG low
    b) economic gain from predictable market movements from HB&B

    Another muse. If the dollar volume in a particular commodity was relatively small, and that commodity price drove the action on a constellation of securities whose market was substantially larger, this “break-even” market manipulation strategy might make actual commercial sense. Take oil. You could short the oil equities without moving the market very much, and then proceed to pound the daylights out of the price of oil. Or pound it one day, and raise it up the next, making your oil equity trades accordingly.

    Bill sometimes talks in general terms about how HB&B has turned things into a casino, how the commodities market is no longer a place for proper price discovery, that sort of thing, and it got me to thinking, I guess. Especially when I see big moves in commodity prices without any specific fundamental news that might drive the price.

    • Vadym Graifer(118083 comments)-
      February 26, 2009 at 12:57 pm

      Dave,

      overall, the thinner particular market the easier can it be manipulated. Still, I would evaluate a private trader odds to get hurt while attempting to manipulate whole gold market as unaffordably high. IMO, it will be profitable if market was going to move in would-be-manipulator’s direction anyway so he just gets along for the ride… but then again, it can be said about any trade. If done against the market intention, that same thinness of the particular market will only help steamroll the trader.

  85. swissrobinson(118083 comments)-
    February 26, 2009 at 9:00 am
  86. 2nd_ave(118083 comments)-
    February 26, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    JMO

  87. QT(118083 comments)-
    February 26, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Unemployment and durable goods numbers worse than expectation

    • kp84(118083 comments)-
      February 26, 2009 at 1:54 pm

      all the morning reason to rally, right? ;^)

    • kp84(118083 comments)-
      February 26, 2009 at 2:05 pm

      all the more reason to rally, right? ;^)

  88. Grym(118083 comments)-
    February 26, 2009 at 1:43 pm
  89. Grym(118083 comments)-
    February 26, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    EDC,

    Stopped out of LQD yesterday with small loss after a large gain last month. Not quite sure what to think of relationship to larger picture. Top holdings look pretty solid with little likelihood of defaults, but …?

  90. Grym(118083 comments)-
    February 26, 2009 at 1:52 pm

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