by phil - March 21st, 2011 7:47 am
Didn’t we break these guys up?
Oh anti-trust, anti-trust, wherefore art thou anti-trust? Don’t get me wrong, I love T as an investment, we just made a play on them last week with their big, fat, 6% dividend. Now they are using debt to finance a $39Bn purchase of DT’s T-Mobile division as the German-based company is sick and tired of getting paid in worthless dollars, which add nothing to their Euro-based earnings. Although one may think regulators would actually wake up and say "Huh?" to this deal – AT&T was confident enough to put up a $3Bn breakup fee and you don’t do something like that unless you’ve already spent $300M buying all the votes you need ahead of time.
"AT&T anticipates regulators will require it to divest wireless spectrum and subscribers as a condition for approval," said a person with knowledge of the situation. These things are all worked out long before they are announced but let’s hear it from the little guy anyway: "The combination of the second-largest wireless carrier with the fourth-largest is ‘unthinkable’,” Gigi Sohn, president of Public Knowledge, a Washington-based advocacy group, said in a statement. “We know the results of arrangements like this — higher prices, fewer choices, less innovation.” Isn’t he cute?
In addition to surpassing Verizon Wireless, AT&T could leave Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) as a far weaker No. 3 player in the industry, said Rebecca Arbogast, an analyst for Stifel Nicolaus & Co. in Washington. “AT&T was broken up and now it’s back with a vengeance,” said Bert Foer, president of the American Antitrust Institute, a Washington-based non-profit researcher that challenges what it sees as abuses of concentrated economic power. “We have to decide if we’re happy with the idea of going back to monopolistic treatment of the telecom industry. AT&T has come back to monopolistic power just like the Terminator.”
Is T calling a bottom to the dollar? Probably. You don’t spend $39Bn to buy a 40% market share in a country with declining revenues. T is also calling a bottom to lending rates and probably making a bet on inflation as well – all in all, pretty much exactly what we’re playing the market for so, from a T shareholder perspective – I love this acquisition. Nothing makes money like a monopoly (just ask Carlos Slim) and, as Steve Colbert illustrates above, AT&T has…
by ilene - February 27th, 2011 8:22 am
Here’s the latest edition of Stock World Weekly: Irresistible Forces Meet Immovable Objects. - Ilene
On Saturday, February 27, the Security Council of the United Nations (UN) voted unanimously to institute sanctions on Libya, including travel bans and freezing the assets of Muammar al-Gaddafi and others associated with his regime. Protests have dragged into their twelfth day, and protestors refuse to yield in the face of utterly horrific retaliation by Gaddafi’s loyal forces. U.S. ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice said, “When atrocities are committed against innocents, the international community must act with one voice – and tonight it has.”
The Telegraph reported over the weekend that Gaddafi apparently made good on his threats to trigger a civil war, using irregular forces largely composed of hired mercenaries to launch a counterattack against protesters. “Anywhere we go there is danger,” said one woman, a 28-year-old mother of four who asked not to be named. “All we want is food and fresh water for our children but it is impossible to find. Security is the only concern of the authorities.”
An accurate report of the death toll is impossible to obtain at this time, but on Wednesday, Italy’s Foreign Minister, Franco Frattini said, “We believe that the estimates of about 1,000 are credible.” The situation in Libya has deteriorated since then. Multiple stories coming in from all over the country have cited dozens to hundreds of casualties in each city. It appears that Libya has slipped into the abyss of complete social breakdown and civil war.
This is just one example of the tide of popular unrest that has been unleashed in the wake of the Federal Reserve’s and other central banks’ inflationary policies. The chart below shows the U.S. Adjusted Monetary Base increasing from $1.75Tn in 2009, to $2.0Tn in 2010, and now nearing $2.3Tn, an increase of $300Bn in just two months! This represents an increase of 35% in less than 18 months. (The U.S. Monetary Base is the total amount of currency that is circulating in the hands of the public or in the commercial bank deposits held in reserves of member banks of the Federal Reserve System.)
by ilene - February 25th, 2011 3:19 pm
When Rahma started her conversation over the phone, she said the shooting outside her home, in the streets of Tripoli, had calmed. It had been a terrible Friday. "After prayers, around 6,000 people gathered to denounce the regime, and soon after that, soldiers opened fire and killed two people," said the 21-year old woman, an employee for an oil company. But, 20 minutes after we began talking, she suddenly says, "I’m hearing shots again — a lot of them now. It’s getting worse" The terrible day was not yet over.
As more and more cities joined the ranks of "Free Libya," Tripoli is increasingly the theater for what looks to be Muammar Gaddafi’s last stand. Almost on cue, anti-regime forces, reportedly bearing arms taken from arsenals and swelled by the ranks of defecting soldiers, are bringing the battle to the capital from the so-called liberated zones. And for their part, thousands of residents of the capital took to the streets today, following Friday prayers, in a procession that kept on growing in size as it headed for Tripoli’s central plaza, Green Square. The regime’s troops responded by opening fire.
Rahma tells TIME she was out among the crowds earlier on Friday, but had been inside at home after hearing from family members elsewhere in the city that troops had shot unarmed marchers. At mid-afternoon, people she knew at the march told her that their numbers had grown to around 10,000 people. "The nearer to Green Square they get, the more people come out to join them," she says. "The soldiers are shooting more to reverse that, but it isn’t working. The soldiers may shoot people, but more citizens will come to replace them."
Like most other Libyans, Rahma has relied on cell phone communication to get updates on events, though not all information is easy to vet. "It’s very difficult to confirm everything you hear, and there are…
by ilene - January 30th, 2011 3:39 pm
Courtesy of Tyler Durden
The one country landlocked between Tunisia and Egypt has so far been oddly silent. Not so much any more. Al Jazeera reports that the Libyan government has imposed a state of emergency for "fear of demonstrations and rallies" comparable to those in Tunisia and Egypt. And ranked 17 in the world for oil production (and 9th in proven reserves), this is one that crude HFT algos may want to keep an eye on.
From Al Jazeera, google translated:
Libyan sources familiar with the island revealed that a state of alert security prevail in the east of the Libyan cities, confirmed that elements of the police and support central and distributed to all government buildings.
The sources said that the Libyan government imposed a state of emergency and security alert since the outbreak of the revolution, Tunisia, for fear of demonstrations and rallies similar in Libyan cities.
The sources of the existence of orders to stop any gathering, whether in government or outside.
Under these instructions – Sources confirm – The Libyan government later abolished the league matches of Libyan Football Association which was to be organized during the month.
In conjunction with the ongoing events in neighboring Egypt, the forces imposed from the central support and the police since yesterday evening checkpoints in several major regions in both the white and Benghazi and Derna and Tobruk.
These enhancements come at a time when Libya is following with interest the Libyan street events taking place in Egypt over the satellite news channels deployed in all the cafes and shops in cities of Libya.
He said the Libyans before the popular revolution that swept cities in Tunisia and has succeeded in toppling President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, after 23 years of rule.
It is feared the Libyan regime of infection along the Tunisian and Egyptian into Libya, especially in light of similar conditions and problems such as poor living conditions and the absence of freedoms