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…
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.
A frame grab from Libyan state television broadcast on February 24, 2011 shows burnt cars in Tripoli, Libya.
AFP / Getty Images
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…
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.
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
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Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts. After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.) Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.
Sellers were going to make an appearance at some point and today was the day they paid a visit. Whether a larger pullback emerges will depend on events over the coming days, but today's selling did emerge at some natural attack points for shorts.
The S&P finished with a 'bearish cloud cover,' but it did manage to hold declining resistance turned support, and the 20-day MA has entered the fray as an area for bears to work. But this wasn't the most bearish of the indices, and today's finish actually gives bulls a long play tomorrow (for a bounce off support). Technicals also suggest a bounce.
While the S&P may give bulls something tomorrow, th...
There is lots of action in Southwest Airlines Co. November expiry call options today ahead of the air carrier’s third-quarter earnings report prior to the opening bell on Thursday. Among the large block trades initiated throughout the trading session, there appears to be at least one options market participant establishing a call spread in far out of the money options. It looks like the trader purchased a 4,000-lot Nov 37/39 call spread at a net premium of $0.40 apiece. The trade makes money if shares in Southwest rally 9.0% over the current price of $34.32 to exceed the effective breakeven point at $37.40, with maximum potential profits of $1.60 per contract available in the event that shares jump more than 13% to $39.00 by expiration. In September, the stock tou...
When forecasting investment returns, many individuals make the mistake of simply extrapolating recent returns into the future. Bull markets lead investors to expect higher future returns, and bear markets lead them to expected lower future returns. But the price you pay for an asset also has a great impact on future returns. Consider the following evidence:
The average historical P/E ratio for the market has been around 15. A study covering the period from 1926 through the second quarter of 1999 found that an investor buying stocks when the market traded at P/E ratios of between 14 and 16 e...
Last week brought even more stock market weakness and volatility as the selloff became self-perpetuating, with nobody mid-day on Wednesday wanting to be the last guy left holding equities. Hedge funds and other weak holders exacerbated the situation. But the extreme volatility and panic selling finally led some bulls (along with many corporate insiders) to summon a little backbone and buy into weakness, and the market finished the week on a high note, with continued momentum likely into the first part of this week.
Despite concerns about global economic growth and a persistent lack of inflation, especially given all the global quantitative easing, fundamentals for U.S. stocks still look good, and I believe this overdue correction ultimately will shape up to be a great buying opportunity -- i.e., th...
Now that bitcoin has subsided from speculative bubble to functioning currency (see the price chart below), it’s safe for non-speculators to explore the whole “cryptocurrency” thing. So…is bitcoin or one of its growing list of competitors a useful addition to the average person’s array of bank accounts and credit cards — or is it a replacement for most of those things? And how does one make this transition?
With his usual excellent timing, London-based financial writer/actor/stand-up comic Dominic Frisby has just released Bitcoin: The Future of Money? in which he explains all this in terms most readers will have no tr...
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What do falling energy prices mean for the US consumer? Sober Look writes a brief yet thorough overview of the consequences of the correction in the price of crude oil. There are good aspects, particularly for the consumer, bad aspects, and out-right ugly possibilities. For more on this subject, read James Hamilton's How will Saudi Arabia respond to lower oil prices? In previous eras, Saudi Arabia would tighten the supply to help increase prices, but in this "game of chicken," the rules m...
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Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely. From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.
First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices. Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment. Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer. For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...
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