Archive for October, 2009

Is Verizon Abandoning FiOS HD Television?

Courtesy of rc whalen

Two years ago, Verizon agressivley opened a campaign to get communities in New York to adopt their new FiOS fiber optic service for telephony, Internet and digital television.  In my Village of Croton on Hudson, NY, which is located between Peekskill and Ossining in Westchester County, we  responded in a timely manner and even retained special counsel experienced in these agreements to be sure the village’s interests were well protected and represented.

Our villagetook steps to move to FiOS because VZ had already negotiated franchise agreements with larger municipalities to the south and east of Croton.  Verizon was busy stringing the fiber optic cable throughout the NY area that would carry the FiOS TV, as well as telephone and Interent, so we figured the service offering was real.  VZ even began an agressive direct mail and newspaper stuffer campaign advertising phone, internet and TV as a combined FIOS package to Croton residents, including my family.

Our community bought the VZ campaign hook, line and sinker.  Like my family, many Croton residents dropped cable and satelite satelitte TV dish subscriptions based on what now seem to be false representation by VZ that the television service was about to be launched.  This was a year ago.  Today we have  FiOS phone and internet,which is great BTW, but no TV.  For me this meant going back to Cablevision and wasting time, again, changing providers.   As of today, VZ representatives cannot give me a date for turning on the TV service and they refuse to respond to queries by attorneys for our village seeking to finalize the service contract.

On more than one ocassion over the past 18 months, the Village of Croton has submitted revisions or comments on the TV franchise agreement to VZ, only to have those documents, which VZ appeared eager to have, go without a response.  The Village of Croton regularly renegotiates franchise agreements with Cablevision, which both set a precendent in process and substance for the VZ FiOS TV matter, as well as show that we do conclude such agreements in timely fashion for other corporate applicants.

Both through our attorney and directly through the village’s own contacts within the VZ empire, we have tired to elicit a response fromVZ management, but without success.  Each time we follow up, we get vague answers that do not appear to eliminate the possibility of FiOS…
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Fuld's Last Stand On Auction

Courtesy of Marla Singer

The more observant and aesthetically sensitive ZH reader will have already noticed that Tranche 1 of the Lehman Brothers Collection (hereinafter known as the LBHI Creditors Committee ["LBHI-CC"] Collection) (warning: 50+ MB .pdf) will come under the hammer tomorrow at noon.  The 300+ lots include significant works by Bernar Venet, Willie Cole, Arturo Herrera, Pouran Jinchi, Louis Lozowick, Roy Lichtenstein, Louis [sic] Bourgeouis, Terry Frost, Bernice Abott, Bernard Cathelin and Herbert Brandl.  (No word yet on the various return tiers on the CAOs (Collateralized Art Obligations) that Goldman is underwriting next month.

Your author is pleasantly surprised to observe that liquidators to the House of Fuld, Alvarez & Marsal, have eschewed convicted co-conspirators Christie’s (1766) and Sotheby’s (1744) in preference to a distinguished Philadelphian auctioneer, Freeman’s (1805), invitations to summer at Ron Baron’s East Hampton guest house notwithstanding.  (C’mon, what is a little conspiracy charge, or two, between friends, after all?)

ZH’s intern will be bidding telphonically on the below signed Warhol screenprint depicting Warhol’s “GENERAL FULD” mere days before Fuld’s Last Stand at which he and all of his compatriots were killed by short sellers, Charlie Gasparino, the FSA, the Bank of England, and a host of other Lakota Indian allies.

Lot 405
ANDY WARHOL
(american, 1928-1987)
“GENERAL CUSTER”
from “cowboys and indians”
1986, signed and numbered 122/250 in pencil (there were also 50 artist’s proofs), the full sheet; Gaultney Klineman Art, Inc., New York, publisher. Color screenprint on Lenox Museum Board.
sheet: 36 x 36 in. (91.4 x 91.4cm)
[Feldman & Schellmann II.379].

Estimate $15,000-20,000

Very faint traces of minor rubbing in the sleeve at bottom center that catch light very faintly when examined out of the frame and held to raking light, very faint smudging of the signature lower left, otherwise in very good original condition. Framed in plexi box frame.

ZH representatives will be at the preview parties for Freeman’s “Fine American and European Paintings and Sculpture” auction scheduled for December 6th, 2009 and the “Works from the Lehman Brothers Collection: Part II” auction on February 12th, 2010, where we shall be overconsuming the higher value hors d’ouvres and more expensive liquor.





Fuld’s Last Stand On Auction

Courtesy of Marla Singer

The more observant and aesthetically sensitive ZH reader will have already noticed that Tranche 1 of the Lehman Brothers Collection (hereinafter known as the LBHI Creditors Committee ["LBHI-CC"] Collection) (warning: 50+ MB .pdf) will come under the hammer tomorrow at noon.  The 300+ lots include significant works by Bernar Venet, Willie Cole, Arturo Herrera, Pouran Jinchi, Louis Lozowick, Roy Lichtenstein, Louis Bourgeouis, Terry Frost, Bernice Abott, Bernard Cathelin and Herbert Brandl.  (No word yet on the various return tiers on the CAOs (Collateralized Art Obligations) that Goldman is underwriting next month.

Your author is pleasantly surprised to observe that liquidators to the House of Fuld, Alvarez & Marsal, have eschewed convicted co-conspirators Christie’s (1766) and Sotheby’s (1744) in preference to a distinguished Philadelphian auctioneer, Freeman’s (1805), invitations to summer at Ron Baron’s East Hampton guest house notwithstanding.  (C’mon, what is a little conspiracy charge, or two, between friends, after all?)

ZH’s intern will be bidding telphonically on the below signed Warhol screenprint depicting Warhol’s “GENERAL FULD” mere days before Fuld’s Last Stand at which he and all of his compatriots were killed by short sellers, Charlie Gasparino, the FSA, the Bank of England, and a host of other Lakota Indian allies.

Lot 405
ANDY WARHOL
(american, 1928-1987)
“GENERAL CUSTER”
from “cowboys and indians”
1986, signed and numbered 122/250 in pencil (there were also 50 artist’s proofs), the full sheet; Gaultney Klineman Art, Inc., New York, publisher. Color screenprint on Lenox Museum Board.
sheet: 36 x 36 in. (91.4 x 91.4cm)
[Feldman & Schellmann II.379].

Estimate $15,000-20,000

Very faint traces of minor rubbing in the sleeve at bottom center that catch light very faintly when examined out of the frame and held to raking light, very faint smudging of the signature lower left, otherwise in very good original condition. Framed in plexi box frame.

ZH representatives will be at the preview parties for Freeman’s “Fine American and European Paintings and Sculpture” auction scheduled for December 6th, 2009 and the “Works from the Lehman Brothers Collection: Part II” auction on February 12th, 2010, where we shall be overconsuming the higher value hors d’ouvres and more expensive liquor.





Radio Zero: It's Not The Costume That Scares Me

Courtesy of Marla Singer

Studio Zero’s costume party gets revved up after the rest of the evening’s events start to wind down.  We’ll pipe the feed into Radio Zero live as soon as it gets going.  Join us for dark beats and light silliness into the wee hours and the (always present) possibility of a cameo drop-in from an A-lister.

Listen here: http://cdo.zerohedge.com:8000/listen.pls

Or pick up our West Coast Mirror (with 1000 slots) here: http://72.13.86.66:8000/listen.pls thanks to the mind-blowing generosity of EGI Hosting.

Chat up the DJ (send your .mp3 files) here: radiozh.

Or… join the real Radio Zero nerds on our IRC server at chat.zerohedge.com #radiozh.  If you just can’t be bothered with an IRC client, we’ve provided one for you here. Otherwise, consider getting mIRC.

Shenanigans to begin sometime after 10 ET and before 11ET (maybe).

 





Radio Zero: It’s Not The Costume That Scares Me

Courtesy of Marla Singer

Studio Zero’s costume party gets revved up after the rest of the evenings events start to wind down.  We’ll pipe the feed into Radio Zero live as soon as it gets going.  Join us for dark beats and light silliness into the wee hours and the (always present) possibility of a cameo drop-in from an A-lister.

Listen here: http://cdo.zerohedge.com:8000/listen.pls

Or pick up our West Coast Mirror (with 1000 slots) here: http://72.13.86.66:8000/listen.pls thanks to the mind-blowing generosity of EGI Hosting.

Chat up the DJ (send your .mp3 files) here: radiozh.

Or… join the real Radio Zero nerds on our IRC server at chat.zerohedge.com #radiozh.  If you just can’t be bothered with an IRC client, we’ve provided one for you here. Otherwise, consider getting mIRC.

Shenanigans to begin sometime after 10 ET and before 11ET (maybe).

 





Catching Argentinian Disease?

Catching Argentinian Disease?

Courtesy of John Mauldin at Thoughts from the Frontline

Argentina

I have been in South America this week, speaking nine times in five days, interspersed with lots of meetings. The conversation kept coming back to the prospects for the dollar, but I was just as interested in talking with money managers and business people who had experienced the hyperinflation of Argentina and Brazil. How could such a thing happen? As it turned out, I was reading a rather remarkable book that addressed that question. There are those who believe that the United States is headed for hyperinflation because of our large and growing government fiscal deficit and massive future liabilities (as much as $56 trillion) for Medicare and Social Security.

This week, we will look at the Argentinian experience and ask ourselves whether "it" – hyperinflation – can happen here.

The Ascent of Money

I will be quoting from Niall Ferguson’s recent book, The Ascent of Money. I cannot recommend this book too highly. In fact, I rank it up with my all-time favorite book on economic history, Against the Gods, by the late (and sorely missed) Peter Bernstein. There are very few books I read twice. There are too many books and not enough time. This book I will have to read at least three times, and soon, and I have a lot of underlines and mark-ups in it already.

If there were one book I could require every member of the Congress to read, it would be this one. As I read it, I am struck again and again by how fragile and yet resilient our economic systems are. Fragile in the sense that governmental policy mistakes, no matter how well-intentioned, can destroy the wealth of a nation, and resilient in that it doesn’t happen more often.

In his introduction Ferguson writes, "The first step towards understanding the complexities of the financial institutions and terminology is to find out where they came from. Only understand the origins of an institution or instrument and you will find its present day roles much easier to grasp."

As is often said, those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it. If you want to understand what is happening in the economy, what the consequences of our choices could be, then I strongly suggest you get The
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Politicans Are NOT Prostitutes … They Are Pimps

If you happened to have come to the conclusion that politicians are prostitutes, let George challenge your beliefs. – Ilene

Politicans Are NOT Prostitutes … They Are Pimps

pimp and prostituteCourtesy of Washington’s Blog

Many people have called politicians prostitutes.

True, Obama has received more donations from Goldman Sachs and the rest of the financial industry than almost anyone else.

And Summers, Geithner and the rest of Obama’s economic team have made many millions – even recently – from the financial industry.

And Congress has largely been bought and paid for, and two powerful congressmen have said that banks run Congress.

So yes, they have certainly sold their goods to the highest bidders.

Indeed, at least some people trust prostitutes more than elected officials.

But the prostitution analogy is inaccurate.

Specifically, as the chairman of the Department of Economics at George Mason University (Donald J. Boudreaux) points out:

Real whores, after all, personally supply the services their customers seek. Prostitutes do not steal; their customers pay them voluntarily. And their customers pay only with money belonging to these customers.

In contrast, members of Congress routinely truck and barter with other people’s property…

Members of Congress are less like whores than they are like pimps for persons unwillingly conscripted to perform unpleasant services.

Consider, for example, agricultural subsidies. Each year a handful of farmers and agribusinesses receive billions of taxpayer dollars. These are dollars that government forcibly takes from the pockets of taxpayers and then transfers to farmers.

The customers, in this case, are the farmers and agribusinesses. The suppliers of the services performed for these customers are taxpayers, for it’s the taxpayers who possess the ultimate asset — money — that farmers and agribusinesses lust after. And the intermediaries who oblige the suppliers to satisfy the base lusts of the customers are politicians. Just as pimps facilitate their customers’ access to prostitutes’ assets, politicians facilitate their customers’ access to taxpayers’ assets.

We taxpayers have less say in the matter than we like to think. Sure, we can vote. But if even just 50.00001 percent of voters cast their ballots for the candidate proposing higher taxes, the assets of not only our pro-tax citizens, but also those of the remaining 49.00009 percent of us anti-tax citizens are put at the disposal


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Congressman Watt Guts Bill to Audit the Fed

Courtesy of George Washington

Washington’s Blog.

Ron Paul tells Bloomberg that Congressman Watt has just more or less killed the bill to audit the fed:

Representative Ron Paul, the Texas Republican who has called for an end to the Federal Reserve, said legislation he introduced to audit monetary policy has been “gutted” while moving toward a possible vote in the Democratic-controlled House.

The bill, with 308 co-sponsors, has been stripped of provisions that would remove Fed exemptions from audits of transactions with foreign central banks, monetary policy deliberations, transactions made under the direction of the Federal Open Market Committee and communications between the Board, the reserve banks and staff, Paul said today.

“There’s nothing left, it’s been gutted,” he said in a telephone interview. “This is not a partisan issue. People all over the country want to know what the Fed is up to, and this legislation was supposed to help them do that.”..

Paul, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, said Mel Watt, a Democrat from North Carolina, has eliminated “just about everything” while preparing the legislation for formal consideration. Watt is chairman of the panel’s domestic monetary policy and technology subcommittee.

Contact Congressman Watt and tell him what you think.

 





Chairman of the Department of Economics at George Mason University: Politicians Are NOT Prostitutes … They Are Pimps

Courtesy of George Washington

Washington’s Blog.

 

Many people have called politicians prostitutes.

True, Obama has received more donations from Goldman Sachs and the rest of the financial industry than almost anyone else.

And Summers, Geithner and the rest of Obama’s economic team have made many millions – even recently – from the financial industry.

And Congress has largely been bought and paid for, and two powerful congressmen have said that banks run Congress.

So yes, they have certainly sold their goods to the highest bidders.

Indeed, at least some people trust prostitutes more than elected officials.

But the prostitution analogy is inaccurate.

Specifically, as the chairman of the Department of Economics at George Mason University (Donald J. Boudreaux) points out:

 

Real whores, after all, personally supply the services their customers seek. Prostitutes do not steal; their customers pay them voluntarily. And their customers pay only with money belonging to these customers.

 

In contrast, members of Congress routinely truck and barter with other people’s property…

 

Members of Congress are less like whores than they are like pimps for persons unwillingly conscripted to perform unpleasant services.

 

Consider, for example, agricultural subsidies. Each year a handful of farmers and agribusinesses receive billions of taxpayer dollars. These are dollars that government forcibly takes from the pockets of taxpayers and then transfers to farmers.

 

The customers, in this case, are the farmers and agribusinesses. The suppliers of

the services performed for these customers are taxpayers, for it’s the taxpayers who possess the ultimate asset — money — that farmers and agribusinesses lust after. And the intermediaries who oblige the suppliers to satisfy the base lusts of the customers are politicians. Just as pimps facilitate their customers’ access to prostitutes’ assets, politicians facilitate their customers’ access to taxpayers’ assets.

 

We taxpayers have less say in the matter than we like to think. Sure, we can vote. But if even just 50.00001 percent of voters cast their ballots for the candidate proposing higher taxes, the assets of not only our pro-tax citizens, but also those of the remaining 49.00009 percent of us anti-tax citizens are put at the disposal of our pimps’ customers. (And note that many of those who vote for higher taxes are not among


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Obama’s Alpha Delusion

Eric writes about the Obama administration’s entry to the clean energy sector.  For more about Eric, intellectual property, and the law, click here to read our interview.  For additional thoughts by Eric on everything, visit his blog.) – Ilene

Obama’s Alpha Delusion

Courtesy of Eric Falkenstein at Falkenblog

From the WSJ:

The Obama administration launched a clean-energy blitz Tuesday, with President Barack Obama sweeping into this Central Florida hamlet to unveil $3.4 billion in stimulus grants for advanced electricity-grid projects

This PR parade relies on the idea that this administration, if not Obama himself, gets into details, and chooses the right cutting edge technologies and methods. Look at Obama above, with his sleeves rolled up, giving pointers to an appreciative bunch of field managers (perhaps the NEA can get to work on some Soviet Realism in this context). In this case, Obama merely has to allocate some of our money to a select list of projects that are aligned with the buzzwords ‘clean energy’, and we get the increasing returns to scale that Paul Krugman won his Nobel Prize for (too bad Ann Krueger didn’t win a Nobel for showing the same ‘infant industry’ argument has been a pretext to protect inefficient industries for over 200 years).

It never occured to any of these guys that there aren’t any magic solutions to our energy problem. They act as if we only tried to develop batteries, we could have ten times the power. See this video from Zocalo, and at the end of the critical discussion about the oil industry an audience member earnestly asks: "can’t we develop energy out of water?" as if the only reason we use oil is because the Rich Uncle Pennybags character from the Monopoly Game is not letting us. The electric car predates the internal combustion engine. My laptop and cell phone routinely run out of energy, highlighting the high reward waiting for the next battery innovation. There has been and continues to be research, and incentives, to increase the efficiencies of batteries.

Obama hates being compared to socialists, so I’ll refrain and compare him to a communist. In the state published hagiography, Divine Stories About the Dear Leader, Kim Jong-Il is presented as someone excellent at golf, pistol shooting, technology,


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Phil's Favorites

Buyer beware: How Libra differs from Bitcoin

 

Buyer beware: How Libra differs from Bitcoin

Recent revelations about the lack of privacy protections in place at the companies involved in Facebook’s new Libra crytocurrency raise concerns about how much trust users can place in Libra. (Shutterstock)

Courtesy of Alfred Lehar, University of Calgary

Facebook, the largest social network in the world, stunned the world earlier this year with the announcement of its own cryptocurrency, Libra.

The launch has raised questions about the difference between Libra and existing cryptocurrencies, as well as the implications of private companies competing with s...



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Digital Currencies

Buyer beware: How Libra differs from Bitcoin

 

Buyer beware: How Libra differs from Bitcoin

Recent revelations about the lack of privacy protections in place at the companies involved in Facebook’s new Libra crytocurrency raise concerns about how much trust users can place in Libra. (Shutterstock)

Courtesy of Alfred Lehar, University of Calgary

Facebook, the largest social network in the world, stunned the world earlier this year with the announcement of its own cryptocurrency, Libra.

The launch has raised questions about the difference between Libra and existing cryptocurrencies, as well as the implications of private companies competing with s...



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Zero Hedge

What's Hot In Women's Fashion?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Via Global Macro Monitor,

Capitalism at its best or worst?

We have a few questions:

1)  Does the Tariff Man get a royalty for the sale of each dress sold, and will that violate the Emolumen...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Look Out Bears! Fed New QE Now Up to $165 Billion

Courtesy of Lee Adler

I have been warning for months that the Fed would need new QE to counter the impact of massive waves of Treasury supply. I thought that that would come later, rather than sooner. Sorry folks, wrong about that. The NY Fed announced another round of new TOMO (Temporary Open Market Operations) today.

In addition to the $75 billion in overnight repos that the Fed issued and has been rolling over since Tuesday, next week the Fed will issue another $90 billion. They’ll come in the form of three $30 billion, 14 day repos to be offered next week.

That brings the new Fed QE to a total of $165 billion. Even in the worst days of the financial crisis, I can’t remember the Fed ballooning its balance sheet by $165 bi...



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The Technical Traders

Is A Price Revaluation Event About To Happen?

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Skilled technical traders must be aware that price is setting up for a breakout or breakdown event with recent Doji, Hammer
and other narrow range price bars.  These types of Japanese Candlestick patterns are warnings that price is coiling into
a tight range and the more we see them in a series, the more likely price is building up some type of explosive price breakout/breakdown move in the near future.  The ES (S&P 500 E-mini futures) chart is a perfect example of these types of price bars on the Daily chart (see below).

Tri-Star Tops, Three River Evening Star patterns, Hammers/Hangmen and Dojis are all very common near extreme price peaks and troughs.  The rea...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

India About To Experience Major Strength? Possible Says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

If one invested in the India ETF (INDA) back in January of 2012, your total 7-year return would be 24%. During the same time frame, the S&P 500 made 124%. The 7-year spread between the two is a large 100%!

Are things about to improve for the INDA ETF and could it be time for the relative weakness to change? Possible!

This chart looks at the INDA/SPX ratio since early 2012. The ratio continues to be in a major downtrend.

The ratio hit a 7-year low a few months ago and this week it kissed those lows again at (1). The ratio near weeks end is attempting to...



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Insider Scoop

10 Biggest Price Target Changes For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Credit Suisse raised IHS Markit Ltd (NYSE: INFO) price target from $68 to $76. IHS Markit shares closed at $67.75 on Thursday.
  • Wedbush boosted Restoration Hardware Holdings, Inc (NYSE: RH) price target from $170 to $185. RH shares closed at $169.49 on Thursday.
  • Mizuho lifted Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ: STX) price target from $46 to $50. Seagate shares closed at $52.94 on Thursday.
  • UBS raised the price target for Weight Watchers Intern...


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Chart School

Crude Oil Cycle Bottom aligns with Saudi Oil Attack

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Do the cycles know? Funny how cycle lows attract the need for higher prices, no matter what the news is!

These are the questions before markets on on Monday 16th Aug 2019:

1) A much higher oil price in quick time can not be tolerated by the consumer, as it gives birth to much higher inflation and a tax on the average Joe disposable income. This is recessionary pressure.

2) With (1) above the real issue will be the higher interest rate and US dollar effect on the SP500 near all time highs.

3) A moderately higher oil price is likely to be absorbed and be bullish as it creates income for struggling energy companies and the inflation shock may be muted. 

We shall see. 

...

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Biotech

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Reminder: We are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Courtesy of  , Visual Capitalist

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

As evidence of cannabis’ many benefits mounts, so does the interest from the global pharmaceutical industry, known as Big Pharma. The entrance of such behemoths will radically transform the cannabis industry—once heavily stigmatized, it is now a potentially game-changing source of growth for countless co...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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