Saturday, November 19, 2011

Review of Barron's, Dated 21 November

One of the highlights of my weekends has been when I pull into the parking space in front of 7-11.  I hop out of my SUV and wonder what Barron's will serve up.  I promised myself this time that I would look more carefully at the contents before just automatically buying it ($5.00 plus sales tax).  But, the Cover Story got me again!  ("Fishing For Steady Income" on the Cover, "Reeling in the Yields" is the actual story title.).

Author Karen Hube's "Reeling In the Yields" is an important article about a subject I have not gotten around to writing about: how can we investors make ANY money (income money) when we can get only 2% on a 10-Year Treasury and similar amounts for bank CDs?  This ZIRP environment is KILLING savers as their older bonds mature and they have to put money to work!  And with inflation at 4% - 11% (depends on whose figures you believe), we who are savers are getting slammed.  And the "little meme" just out recently ("buy stocks with a high dividend") is becoming a crowded trade, lots of those stocks have been bid up recently making the percent of dividend to stock price less favorable.

[personal note: our family's income is down fairly sharply over the past two years or so, due in large part to not being able to get any decent income from stocks and bonds]

It's a great article and very timely.  I will now show you their table of 11 Ways to Earn Juicy Yields (the table itself shows a plus of each one and a minus):

Dividend Paying Stocks
High-Yield Bonds
Closed-End Corporate Bond Funds
Emerging Market Government Bonds
Equipment Leasing (how can I buy and then lease out a railroad car?)
Master Limited Partnerships
Real Estate Investment Trusts
Global Infrastructure Stocks
Immediate Fixed Annuities
Longevity Insurance
Municipal Bonds

The article goes on to say that buying some of many of these can get you a yield of up to 7%!  There are risks in all of the above.  Moi?  I can tell you RIGHT NOW I would not touch the second and third from the bottom because of insurance company risk (counter-party risk).


The inside front cover and facing page is a two page ad for the Select Sector SPDRs (eg, XLF is the Financial Sector SPDR).  There are 9 of them.  The other page lists the the Top 10 companies in each of the ETFs.  For those interested!


Barron's bear Alan Abelson is back this weekend.  He marvels how our Congressmen are able to get much work done, what with all the insider trading going on.  Indeed.

He then discusses how the world must create 80 million jobs in 2012 and 2013 just to get employment back to where it was in 2007.  He quotes Joseph Quinlan, chief market strategist at U.S. Trust.  Quinlan says that the International Labor Organization says that the developed countries (USA, Europe, Japan) need to create 27.5 million of those jobs.  And how many will likely be created here in the developed countries?  2.5 million.  A miss of 25 million jobs.  And "jobs" is what the political hacks are talking most about.  Not just here, but all around the world.  What does this mean?  Lots of social turmoil.  Abelson: "Think Greece multiplied geometrically and you'll have a reasonable notion of the potential problem".  Ruh Roh.

He finishes with a short piece on how he thinks "...the outlook for 2012 is pretty darn bleak".


"Review and Preview" notes than Warren Buffett finally got around to buying a big chunk of IBM shares, he said he should have spotted this one years earlier...

"To Russia, With Funds" is a short column there about how one money manager makes a good case for investing in Russia.  That the corruption and sleaze there is already priced in.  Another analyst (same column) says that Russian banks are now borrowing more cheaply than European ones.  [no thanks re investing Russia]


Jack Willoughby suggests that Murphy Oil (MUR) is a good cheap stock.  It is shedding refining and marketing to focus more on exploration, where it has not had luck recently.  If they DO get catch a break, this stock could go up.  [OK, maybe so, could be a winner]


Dimitra DeFotis writes this week's "Technology Week".  She again mentions Buffett and IBM.  She then goes on to discuss Seth Klarman's (a "deep value" hedge fund manager) views on Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ).  Klarman likes them both because they are cheap.


Tiernan Ray gives the Thumbs Down on "Our Gadget of the Week", Amazon's brand new Kindle Fire, which does not perform like the Kindle for reading nor anywhere close to the iPad for access to the Internet.


Jim McTague writes a full page article on the the Supercommittee, and it isn't pretty.  He expects them to not agree, and that stocks and bonds will suffer additional volatility.  [I agree with Jim]


"CEO Spotlight" is about John Mackey, founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market (WFM).  An interesting story!  "Mackey gave up his socialist beliefs as soon as he had to meet a payroll".  Hey, it happens...


Editorial page editor Thomas Donlan has come back to his senses!  He writes that Team Obama has made a Bad Call re putting off the decision re the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada.  Donlan is 100% right.  We need more access to Canada's oil!  Canada could decide to build the pipeline to the Pacific coast, and ship the oil to China instead.  Here's the punch-line to this column:

"On Nov. 12, the White House and the State Department decided to give the pipeline route more study, at least until after the election in November, 2012.  "This was not a political decision," said an assistant secretary of state who must have practiced in front of a mirror to keep a straight face."  

Yeah, sure.  Of course it was not a political decision...


In the Market Section Jonathan Buck writes "European Trader" and notes that fears are targeting The core of the Euro Zone.  No surprise to Zero Hedge readers.

Randall W. Forsyth writes in "Current Yield" that US Treasuries and corporate bonds again benefited from anxiety in Europe.  [people there want their money OUT of there]

"Commodities Corner" (Leslie Josephs) is about how cocoa may soon be on the rise, as the current glut is being eliminated.

Lots of interesting stuff in the Classifieds there this weekend.  Assay On Wheels (the PM refinery in a truck) advertised again (, I am waiting on the information they said they would send me.  Other interesting ads include Iowa farmland for sale (warning: BUBBLE in Midwest farmland!) and a pair of ads taking both sides (buying and selling) of distressed debt:

I noted in the Market Laboratory Jeffries Group (JEF) issued a whole bunch of corporate debt last week.  At over 10% and 11% (various terms).  That is in Junkland.  I believe this company is similar to what MF Global was...  Danger, Will Robinson.

Money matters:

Fed Total Holdings: + 0.3 %
Monetary Base: + 1.0%
M1 Money Supply: + 0.0% (up a tiny amount)
M2 Money Supply: +0.4%

Peruvian Sol vs. US$: unchanged.


Verdict this weekend:  Yes!  A good issue of Barron's IMO.

Three More Examples of HUGE Corruption!

I had the blinkers on when I wrote "Everybody Knows"!  I left out three really good examples of big-time looting!

1)  Congressional insider trading!  These guys (and their staffs too I imagine) can buy & sell stocks that will be affected by the laws they write and money they appropriate!  Now how corrupt is that?!  We do that, we go to jail.  Hypocrisy all the way up the food chain!

2)  China, the mother of all corrupt countries (well maybe Nigeria)!  China is SO BIG and SO CORRUPT that how could I not mention it?

3)  Russia, notorious for corruption, government seizing of assets, corrupt to the core as well.  If you are an enemy of Putin, he'll just take away your company and throw you in jail!


I would like to take a moment to list some non-corrupt countries.  Check out the below list:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Everybody Knows

Each day it becomes a little clearer.  Everybody knows, it now seems.  Everybody knows that our financial and political system is rotten to the core.  Yes, it can be argued that it has always been so, you can see the political and Wall Street cartoons for over 100 years, about fat-cat Banksters running off with the loot, having bribed Congress along the way.

But, it has become clearer to everyone that "this time is different".  Reinhardt and Rogoff wrote the book: This Time is Different -- Eight Centuries of Financial Folly.  I highly recommend the book.  In their book, they chronicle what has happened throughout history when countries have a bad financial crisis.  They (countries) wind defaulting in one way or another.  Either not paying their debts internally, externally (like Argentina did in this new century) or by hyperinflation.  These financial crises are either banking crises (as ours has been since 2007) or sovereign debt crises (Greece and now Italy) or both (right now).  Just, what, two days ago our national debt crossed $15 trillion (the debt widget above shows a slightly different figure).  $122,400 + for every taxpayer, how will that be paid?  It won't in real terms.

Confidence in the financial markets is very weak now, today might have been one the the rare "Minsky Moments", when those sell even their good assets (gold, stocks) to cover the losses of their bad ones (European) bonds.  Almost everything went down today.  Look at the top of my blog, as I am writing gold continues downward...  How else can you explain gold falling in a toxic environment like this?  Keep in mind that is the "paper gold" price.


And now the word is getting out about the wolves who are feasting upon the carcasses of their victims.  Zero Hedge, in a remarkable article today ( focused the spotlight on the shutdown in disgust by a financial adviser, she then went on to write a scathing letter demonstrating corruption to the very core...  Not just "It's Bush's fault" anymore, but that Obama and his puppets are even worse.  Here is a part of the letter Ann Barnhardt sent out to her clients and the financial community today (underlining and bold in this quotation are hers):

Perhaps the most ominous dynamic that I have yet heard of in regards to this mess is that of the risk of potential CLAWBACK actions. For those who do not know, “clawback” is the process by which a bankruptcy trustee is legally permitted to re-seize assets that left a bankrupt entity in the time period immediately preceding the entity’s collapse. So, using the MF Global customers as an example, any funds that were withdrawn from MFG accounts in the run-up to the collapse, either because of suspicions the customer may have had about MFG from, say, watching the company’s bond yields rise sharply, or from purely organic day-to-day withdrawls, the bankruptcy trustee COULD initiate action to “clawback” those funds. As a hedge broker, this makes my blood run cold. Generally, as the markets move in favor of a hedge position and equity builds in a client’s account, that excess equity is sent back to the customer who then uses that equity to offset cash market transactions OR to pay down a revolving line of credit. Even the possibility that a customer could be penalized and additionally raped AGAIN via a clawback action after already having their customer funds stolen is simply villainous. While there has been no open indication of clawback actions being initiated by the MF Global trustee, I have been told that it is a possibility.
And so, to the very unpleasant crux of the matter. The futures and options markets are no longer viable. It is my recommendation that ALL customers withdraw from all of the markets as soon as possible so that they have the best chance of protecting themselves and their equity. The system is no longer functioning with integrity and is suicidally risk-laden. The rule of law is non-existent, instead replaced with godless, criminal political cronyism.
MF Global customers who got out BEFORE it went under are at risk of having their money seized in a clawback...  Does that bother anyone?  Read that last sentence again, ends with "criminal political cronyism".  The above quotation should be very alarming to all of us.

And just now we learn ( that the EFSF (the European agency trying to shore up Club Med there in Europe) put $1.3 billion into a failing Greek bank just had about $1 billion stolen.  Here's a quote from Wolf Richter's piece:

The ink wasn’t even dry yet on the European bailout fund, the EFSF when it paid $1.3 billion to bail out Proton Bank in Greece. Turns out, Proton had siphoned off $1 billion in a scheme of fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, and offshore front companies, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung. And then a bomb exploded.
The bomb, fabricated of dynamite, demolished four cars in front of a building in Halandri, a suburb of Athens. Not a coincidence: in the building lived a senior employee of the Bank of Greece, whose meticulous investigation of Proton Bank had exposed the massive criminal scheme. According to the police, the bomb was intended as a warning to those who attempt to shed light on these kinds of machinations.
Just today.
MF Global appears to be the catalyst that may be the domino that sets the others off.  There is $600,000,000 missing from accounts there at MF Global.  Famed CNBC correspondent Rick Santelli reportedly spoke today with traders in tears who have lost their money...  The truly evil (ex-CEO) Jon Corzine will almost surely skate from this unharmed, but even if he were to be tried, found guilty and sentenced (big if), he will then be pardoned by our president.  Don't believe me?  Think about it.  Corzine bankrupted New Jersey as governor.  And now MF Global.  What a swell guy.
Tell us, Jon Corzine: Where's the money?
Tell us, Proton Bank: Where's the money?
It looks like the money has been stolen.  So much money has been stolen since 2007.  So much money...  Who stole it?  I will tell you: the Banksters, the corrupt in our .gov (including Congress) and the puppets behind the throne.
Will the perpetrators of these actions be found out and prosecuted?  Most will likely NOT be punished.  Perhaps a couple of cases, show trials, to throw some red meat to the sheeple-becoming-people.  But the Big Money is gone, it looks like it will never be found nor will we get it back.
The "cognitive dissonance" that so many of us feel is one of the results of all the lies that not even we believe, deep down inside.  We are being lied to, every day, by TPTB.  Not just lied to, but robbed on a huge scale never before seen in history.  The word is getting out.
Everybody knows.  Or will very soon.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cognitive Fog, An Open Mind, Germination, Gilgamesh, The Power Of Now

A bit over a week ago, one of my blog readers ("ZM") tossed a bomb my way (by email)!  It was his 129 page allegorical fiction piece, and he asked me for comments.   It was difficult to read, but loaded up with a lot of ideas and references to various religious and philosophical ideas.  The best metaphor for what his book did would be a handful of tiny seeds being tossed into my brain, and now a whole bunch of them have germinated and started sprouting, all of these little ideas...

After finishing up my Barron's review earlier today, I went outside to do my three favorite Tai Chi forms.  The first one I do is the one I know the best (the "Yang 108").  I have known and practiced this form for years.  So there I am, maybe 1/3 the way through.  And then it happened to me!  A Cognitive Fog!  A Rick Perry Moment!  I could not remember the next little sequence...  This happens on occasion (the forms I practice are long ones).  When it does happen, I usually back-up and try again.  Or back up and try again, but doing it faster, as my body often remembers it better that way.  Eventually I got it right.  And then I did the other two and came back in.


Over the past several days, it looks like I am partially achieving a goal I have had for a long time.  To spend more time with an "Open Mind", just a quiet observation mode, without all the internal chatter that usually is racing around in my head.

I believe I can attribute some of this, at least as in the form of a catalyst, to my reader ZM's book.  He sent it to me after reading my article on Taoism a couple of weeks or so ago.  In an email to me, he mentioned the Epic of Gilgamesh, which is the oldest mythological tale in the world apparently (1000 years older than the Old Testament).  By coincidence I had bought a copy of Gilgamesh a couple of months or so ago (when Border's (the book store chain) was liquidating their inventories).  I went and bought a lot of books...  So after I finished ZM's piece, I decided to go ahead and read Gilgamesh.  I was anticipating a Tough Read (hey ZM's was hard, CD at ZH is hard, FOFOA is hard) so I am getting somewhat used to hard-to-read items, but much to my surprise I found Gilgamesh to be easy.  Here's a quotation, my favorite:

"Only the gods live forever.  Our days are few in number, and whatever we achieve is a puff of wind."

This was Gilgamesh talking to his friend Enkidu.


So, my mind has been on a roll now.  A little higher percentage of my time is spent "awake" now.  Will this persist and make the quality of my life better?  We will see.

In the meantime, for those of you who would like another way down this rabbit hole (and I am convinced we are talking about just one phenomenon), try this book which is easy and an eye-opener:

The Power of Now (Eckhardt Tolle)


To finish this up I invite you all to share some music that my wife and I went wild-crazy dancing to Friday night.  She is a "Latina in Good Standing" and it was time to go and dance (yes, fellas, all Latinas like to dance, get on board)!  And it has been a long time.  Hey, getting liquored up with your sweetheart and the right music...

Click the link(s) if the video does not work.

This is pretty close to the version we heard at the Latin night club:


The original song in Italian, from a long time ago...

Review of Barron's, Dated 14 November

As I entered 7-11 yesterday, I again wondered what Barron’s would offer up this weekend.  When I saw the 100 Yuan note (China’s currency) that was the illustration for the Cover Story, I just went and bought the edition without even looking more.

“Enter the Yuan” (by Kopin Tan) makes the case that China’s yuan (renmimbi) will become a reserve currency by the end of the decade.  I quote the author:

“In recent years, China has stepped up an ambitious plan to increase the circulation of the yuan outside the mainland and persuade trading partners to use it to invoice or settle transactions.”

China’s currency is not a reserve currency now because it is tightly controlled and not freely convertible.

Companies like McDonalds and Caterpillar have issued debt in yuan.  Countries like Brazil and Russia already have deal worked out with China to use each other’s currencies.  One nice thing about having a reserve currency is that Chinese importers and exporters would then not have to run foreign exchange risk.  This resonated with me as our company in Peru a few years ago worked with a Japanese exporter who wanted to be paid in Japanese Yen (or more accurately, we would place our order and then when it was ready we would wire over enough dollars to cover the amount in yen).

There are pressures within China to open up the yuan as well as pressures to not do so.  But, it looks like China will indeed push slowly to turn their currency into a reserve one, as that will help with their long term goals of increasing its middle class and consumption as well as give the country more buying power (and so help slow down inflation).  The ones resisting this are the exporters, who would then find the higher level of the yuan to be an unwelcome cost push.

People who follow China might want to read this article.


Alan Abelson returns this weekend with a term I had never heard of: “Cognitive Fog”.  The latest victim of cognitive fog is none other than Texas Governor Rick Perry who had his brain freeze there in the latest Republican debate.  Cognitive fog seems to have visited Jon Corzine as well, who apparently cannot remember what happened to the $600 million in MF Global’s customer money.

Abelson then goes on to write about Europe.  It’s bad what’s going on there, to sum it up.  He writes of his conversation with David Rosenberg (a name familiar to Zero Hedge readers).  The biggest take-way: France is the next domino…


I have noticed something about Barron’s (hey, I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer. OK?), in that they provide a story on two or three companies each edition.  Most of them are bullish articles.

Sandra Ward writes on hi-tech glass maker Corning (ticker GLW) in her article “A Glass Act on the Cheap”.

Vito J. Racanelli writes “It’s Time to Ring Up Vodafone”, making a bullish case on Vodafone (VOD) vs. other wireless carriers.

Miriam Gottfried writes up “Darden Offers Investors a Tasty Treat”, mentioning that Darden (DRI) is renovating the company and offers a 3.6% dividend yield.


“D.C. Current” column writer Jim McTague writes about a tax too toxic even for Obama!  The Europeans (Merkel and Sarkozy among them) want to levy a financial transactions tax, to raise money and discourage wanton speculation.

There are many reasons why such a tax would not work.  One of them is that it would have to applied everywhere, or else traders would seek out the Zurichs and Dubais of the world to avoid it.  Well known Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff (co-author of the excellent book This Time Is Different) says it would be a bad idea as well.


Thomas Donlan disappointed me with his Editorial Commentary re the supercommittee.  Just let the cuts happen, or let it burn…

He writes a piece (better) on the bond vigilantes knocking on the gates of Rome.  Yes, Italy has caught the contagion from Greece.


Now from the Market Section:

“Asian Trader” writer this week writes positively about HTC, the Taiwanese cell phone maker is now number three (behind only Apple and Samsung) in the cell phone sphere.  I know for a fact that HTC has worked with Google on the Android operating systems for cellphones.  I even have a friend who dumped his Apple iPhone for and Android phone, he likes Android better.

I always look at “Commodities Corner”, this week Shane Romig writes a piece on beef, mainly about Argentine beef.  Argentina’s totally incompetent government for a few years gas been hurting beef production (limiting exports, price controls, etc.) to pacify urban beef consumers in the cities.  That seems to be changing, maybe Argentina will be back as a major player in the beef market worldwide.  They used to be the No. 4 beef exporter, currently they barely make it into the top 10.

My money comments (Market Laboratory – Indicators):

Total Fed holdings: down a tiny bit
Monetary Base: down a tiny bit
M1 Money Supply: up a tiny bit
M2 Money Supply: up a very tiny bit

The Peruvian Sol: up the tiniest bit vs. the US$


Finally, there is a small Special Section on ETFs.  I just glanced through it, there are plenty of ETFs out there that I already know about, so I chose not to use my time plowing through the Special Section on the ETFs.


Verdict on the weekend’s Barron’s: you make the call!

European FUBAR From "Mish"

Well known blogger "Mish" (Mike Shedlock, puts up a cartoon from one of his readers, they have the pulse of Europe just right...

Le Voyage de Fubar - Elephants Take Flight

Sunday funnies returns to celebrate the resignations of Greek prime minister George Papandreou and Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. We bid them "fond" farewell on their long overdue farewell tour.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy also have farewell tours scheduled (they just don't know it yet).

The image, sent by a reader who did not wish any credit says "I re-worked a 1932 French children book cover Voyage de Babar. Hope you like it."

The reworked image initially only contained Merkel and Sarkozy. I suggested adding Papandreou and Berlusconi and the words "next up" and there you have it.

The true original is in public domain, from

Monday, November 7, 2011

"Moneyness", A New FOFOA Post

Deep thinker FOFOA has put up his latest article: "Moneyness" in which he examines what we (for millenia) have considered "Money" to be.  I have not finished his long article yet, but I can assure each of you all that it is worth reading...

Hey, where else do you get a post on archeology and gold in one place?!?!

I ask you, dear readers, NOT to dismiss what FOFOA has to say.  And even better, to read his blog:

Saturday, November 5, 2011

TEOTWAWKI -- Guns and Ammo Edition, Part Two!

Way back in May I wrote a flawed piece on firearms you might want to consider owning if TSHTF.

Well the below link will take you to a NICE piece written on this subject.  Someone who knows more than I do.  Take a look!

Review of Barron's, Dated 7 November

On Saturdays, I have a little string of errands that I run each time.  7-11 to get coffee and decide if I want to buy Barron's, then drop off and/or pick up mail from my office, then get a sandwich at Subway, then perhaps get money out of the bank (today I pulled another $500) and finally pick up my wife from her grocery shopping.  So, as I pulled into 7-11, I again wondered what Barron's would offer us today.

The Cover Story is about Brazil.  I suppose because it is such a big country that Barron's decided it merited its own Special Section.  But, I was a little disappointed with the fairly skimpy section with just two real articles.  Christopher C. Williams writes an overview of Brazil and writes of opinions he received about the country.  Things appear to be going well in Brazil and are likely to into the future, unless..., China has a "hard landing".  Brazil has an economy that is growing relatively fast, and the social-mobility is getting more favorable (fewer poor and more middle class).

New President Dilma Rousseff has been cautious about implementing the socialist program she campaigned on (as was previous President "Lula"), but she has been meddling a bit in Petrobras and Vale (oil and mining, respectively).  Hands off Petrobras, Madame President, as I have 100 shares...

Page 5 is an ad by Itau, the big Brazilian bank.  Why would a Junior Blogger mention that?  Because of the NICE LOOKING Brazilian woman is why...

The other article is an interview with three investment guys who know Brazil well.  Yawn.  One of them likes Brazilian corporate bonds, another likes hotel operators and the other likes Brazilian malls.

[personal note:  Brazilian manufactured products are all over the place in Peru: VW trucks, Chevrolet Brazil cars, Brahma beer (not good, sorry), mid-market industrial equipment and even Brazilian construction companies building buildings and infrstaructure there]


Randall W. Forsyth handle's week's duty at "Up and Down Wall Street" (Alan Abelson's column).  The first word in the article is:


^--- What is unusual about that word?

Anyway he goes on to say that things don't look so euphoric now in Europe, even with the sort-of deal they cut last week.  It looks like the "Crunch" may be near: Greece needs the Euro 8 billion that the EU is withholding, and if Greece doesn't get the money by the December 11 bond maturity, then they will default. And that would be a "credit event".  Forsyth then goes on to look at Italy, where the picture is not pretty either, although not as dire as Greece.  At the end of his Italy remarks he writes:

"All of which suggests that the euphoria was fleeting.  Hope you enjoyed it while it lasted."

Forsyth finishes with some information on MF Global that I have/had not seen at ZH (did not go there yet today).  The NY Times had a story that said customers' money was used in "repo" machinations with European bonds, which CFTC head Gary Gensler objected to.  Corzine pushed back, turns out Gensler once worked under Corzine there at Goldman Sachs.  Corzine got his way...  And then destroyed MF Global.


Page 17 has a fun little article on 11/11/11.  Here's a tidbit: add the last two digits of your birth year and your age.  What do you get?  111.  Try it!


Andrew Bary discusses Cablevision (CVC), in particular as a takeover candidate by one or the other of the cable giants.


Carl B. Weinberg writes a convincing article that Greece will default very soon.  I guess that default is now a "DONE DEAL", and we should get ready...


Jack Willoughby writes an article on Equifax (EFX), suggesting that it may be a buy.


"CEO Spotlight" is a column I am going to have to look at each week now.  Two interesting ones in a row.  This week is Sam Zell's story, it's good!


Tiernan Ray writes in this weekend's "Technology Week" that First Solar (FSLR, and all the others in the solar space as well) are getting beaten up because the subsidies are being eliminated.  I guess that pertty much tells us that solar is not ready for primetime yet.  Also he looks at RIM (RIMM), it ain't pretty either.

Mark Veverka's "Plugged In" sums up his whole column nicely with the title alone: Groupon is no Amazon.


Recently I noted an ad of interest in Barron's (small) classified section.  This week a company called Assay on Wheels "is the only patent pending mobile precious metal refiner in the world."  They are looking for money.  When I finish this, I will go and take a look.  Here's the link:


Uber Capitalist editor Thomas Donlan goes after the Class Warriors.  Pastes them good!  Attaway Mr. Donlan!

Thomas Donlan:  1
Robert Scheer:    0


In the Market Week section of Barron's is the always worth looking at "Commodities Corner".  Tatyana Shumway writes about how the cost of mining platinum is going up!  She writes: "Platinum mines are the deepest and most dangerous in the world."

Leading producer South Africa is having problems just keeping the electricity going...  Russia is not mentioned, perhaps she made a slight oversight on that.  But, demand looks to be going up as the world's auto sales are going up as well.

So, it looks like platinum is going up!  Hurray!  Up, up and away!


"Current Yield" author Bradley Davis writes that Treasuries have surged on news of the Greek mess.  Well, yes, but any ZH-er with more than 2 and 1/2 working neurons already knows that!


My weekly wrap-up on money matters:

1) Total Fed Holdings: down 0.5%
2) Monetary Base: down 1.9%
3) M2 Money Supply: down 0.4%

What does all the above mean?  "FIIK"!

The Peruvian Sol declined a tiny amount vs. the US$.  In fact, the dollar gained on EVERY currency listed there (at Market Laboratory - Indicators) except the Indian Rupee and the Pakistani Rupee.  ???


ZH's own "Rocky Racoon" sent along this scary looking grphic:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Onward, Debt!

^--- What, with all the fun with MF Global and our pal Jon Corzine, not to mention the Euro-follies, you think that our debt has not grown?

$122,000 + / taxpayer.  When I first put up the widget (June I believe) I chronicled the debt crossing $119,000.  Hey, feeling $3000 richer anyone?