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

DARK TOWERS by David Enrich

 

In his best-selling book Dark Towers, David Enrich, finance editor at The New York Times, chronicles the complicated history of Deutsche Bank and its entanglement with Donald Trump. Reviewing Dark Towers, Roger Lowenstein writes, 

"Enrich’s most tantalizing nugget is that in the summer of 2016, Jared Kushner’s real estate company (which received lavish financing from Deutsche) was moving money to various Russians. A bank compliance officer filed a “suspicious activity report,” but the report was quashed and she was fired. The suggestion that maybe the money was payback for Russian campaign meddling isn’t one that Enrich can prove. Similarly, we will have to wait to see if Deutsch...



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Zero Hedge

NYSE Announces Disaster-Recovery Test Due To Virus Fears

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

In a somewhat shocking sounding move, given administration officials' ongoing effort to calm the public fears over the spread of Covid-19, The New York Stock Exchange has announced it will commence disaster-recovery testing in its Cermak Data Center on March 7 amid coronavirus concern, Fox Business reports in a tweet, citing the exchange.

During this test, NYSE will facilitate electronic Core Open and Closing Auctions as if the 11 Wall Stree...



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Chart School

Dow, Three strikes and your out!

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

The Dow has topped out with major events, the current virus could be the third strike!

2001 - 9/11 Twin Towers
2007 - Bear Sterns
2020 (?) - C19 Virus


Chart explains all. Dow Jones Industrial's comparing market tops 2000, 2007 and 2020.


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Changes in the world is the source of all market moves, to catch and ride the change we believe a combination of ...

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ValueWalk

Cities With The Most 'New' And Tenured Homeowners

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Homeownership is a major investment. Not just financially, but when a person or family purchases a home, they’re investing years – if not decades – in that particular community. 55places wanted to find out which real estate markets are luring in new homebuyers, and which ones are dominated by owners that haven’t moved in decades. The study analyzed residency data in more than 300 US cities and revealed the top 10 cities with the most tenured homeowners – residents who’ve lived in and owned their home for more than 30 years – are sprinkled across ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Financial Crisis Deja Vu: Home Construction Index Double Top?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Most of us remember the 2007-2009 financial crisis because of the collapse in home prices and its effect on the economy.

One key sector that tipped off that crisis was the home builders.

The home builders are an integral piece to our economy and often signal “all clears” or “short-term warnings” to investors based on their economic health and how the index trades.

In today’s chart, we highlight the Dow Jones Home Construction Index. It has climbed all the way back to its pre-crisis highs… BUT it immediately reversed lower from there.

This raises concerns about a double top.

This pr...



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Insider Scoop

A Peek Into The Markets: US Stock Futures Plunge Amid Coronavirus Fears

Courtesy of Benzinga

Pre-open movers

U.S. stock futures traded lower in early pre-market trade. South Korea confirmed 256 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, while China reported an additional 327 new cases. Data on U.S. international trade in goods for January, wholesale inventories for January and consumer spending for January will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The Chicago PMI for February is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET, while the University of Michigan's consumer sentime...



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Biotech & Health

Could coronavirus really trigger a recession?

 

Could coronavirus really trigger a recession?

Coronavirus seems to be on a collision course with the US economy and its 12-year bull market. AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

Courtesy of Michael Walden, North Carolina State University

Fears are growing that the new coronavirus will infect the U.S. economy.

A major U.S. stock market index posted its biggest two-day drop on record, erasing all the gains from the previous two months; ...



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The Technical Traders

SPY Breaks Below Fibonacci Bearish Trigger Level

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our research team wanted to share this chart with our friends and followers.  This dramatic breakdown in price over the past 4+ days has resulted in a very clear bearish trigger which was confirmed by our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system.  We believe this downside move will target the $251 level on the SPY over the next few weeks and months.

Some recent headline articles worth reading:

On January 23, 2020, we ...



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Promotions

Free, Live Webinar on Stocks, Options and Trading Strategies

TODAY's LIVE webinar on stocks, options and trading strategy is open to all!

Feb. 26, 1pm EST

Click HERE to join the PSW weekly webinar at 1 pm EST.

Phil will discuss positions, COVID-19, market volatility -- the selloff -- and more! 

This week, we also have a special presentation from Mike Anton of TradeExchange.com. It's a new service that we're excited to be a part of! 

Mike will show off the TradeExchange's new platform which you can try for free.  

...

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Members' Corner

Threats to democracy: oligarchy, feudalism, dictatorship

 

Threats to democracy: oligarchy, feudalism, dictatorship

Courtesy of David Brin, Contrary Brin Blog 

Fascinating and important to consider, since it is probably one of the reasons why the world aristocracy is pulling its all-out putsch right now… “Trillions will be inherited over the coming decades, further widening the wealth gap,” reports the Los Angeles Times. The beneficiaries aren’t all that young themselves. From 1989 to 2016, U.S. households inherited more than $8.5 trillion. Over that time, the average age of recipients rose by a decade to 51. More ...



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Digital Currencies

Altcoin season 2.0: why bitcoin has been outgunned by crypto rivals since new year

 

Altcoin season 2.0: why bitcoin has been outgunned by crypto rivals since new year

‘We have you surrounded!’ Wit Olszewski

Courtesy of Gavin Brown, Manchester Metropolitan University and Richard Whittle, Manchester Metropolitan University

When bitcoin was trading at the dizzying heights of almost US$2...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

 

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

Courtesy of  

The repo market problem isn’t the problem. It’s a sideshow, a diversion, and a joke. It’s a symptom of the problem.

Today, I got a note from Liquidity Trader subscriber David, a professional investor, and it got me to thinking. Here’s what David wrote:

Lee,

The ‘experts’ I hear from keep saying that once 300B more in reserves have ...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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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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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.