Posts Tagged ‘Berkshire’

Oracle Of Omaha Honors Subpoena

Oracle Of Omaha Honors Subpoena

International CEOs Attend Summit At Microsoft Campus

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker 

So much for "transparency", "fair dealing" and similar.

Warren Buffett was "invited" to testify before the FCIC today.  He declined. 

Now one must understand that when a Congressionally-authorized panel "invites" you to appear, you’re not really being asked.  Right behind said invitation, should you refuse, is nearly-always a subpoena.

Buffett, believing that he has no duty to actually talk about what happened (especially with the ratings agencies of which he has, until fairly recently, held a major stake in via Moody’s), decided to say "nuts" to the invitation.

That in turn led to a subpoena, as expected. 

True to form of a snubbed "King" (remember, there’s kings and there is everyone else – the law applies only to the "everyone else") Buffett has failed to provide any sort of prepared testimony in advance to the FCIC.  That’s a snub too – it is common practice, and considered good form, to provide a written document containing your opening testimony a day or two before you appear so that the panel is prepared to respond to the gist of your comments.

Buffett, of course, deigned to schedule an interview with Tout TV just before going on, it has been announced.  So rather than provide his testimony to the Congress, he will instead give it to CNBS and allow them to spin it into whatever they’d like just before going in the dock.

That’s nice.

The oligarchs are such a sniveling pack of frauds.  If there’s nothing to be disclosed of importance, why not show up at…
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Here Come The Hypocrites! (Berkshire)

Here Come The Hypocrites! (Berkshire)

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker 

That didn’t take long…

WASHINGTON—Democrats took a step toward their goal of overhauling financial regulation, reaching a tentative deal to set restrictions on trading in exotic financial instruments known as derivatives.

Among the considerations still in the balance: A big provision being sought by Warren Buffett in recent weeks. A key Senate committee had changed its proposed overhaul of derivatives regulation after lobbying by Mr. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., potentially helping the famed investor avoid a financial hit, congressional aides say.

I thought these were weapons of financial mass destruction Warren?

What’s the problem?  You don’t want to be forced to recognize the economic and accounting reality of your transactions?  I don’t see why that should be a problem.

Posting margin on underwater positions is a reality for everyone who trades on margin – and you do a lot of it.  There’s no reason why anyone – you included – should not have to put forward margin – in cash – just like everyone else.

Yeah, I know, Berkshire is "Strong".  So what?  That’s not material to the point at hand, which is that when you are short a "PUT", which is effectively what you are, and the position is underwater, you should be required to post margin!

Hot globe exploding

Reliance on "future economic strength" to avoid this requirement is a big part of why the system nearly blew up.  You were a part of it writing those contracts, and you now want to be exempted from safety and soundness requirements on something you identified – in public – as a dangerous practice.
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A few thoughts on the Burlington acquisition

A few thoughts on the Burlington acquisition

Courtesy of Vitaliy Katsenelson at Contrarian Edge

warren buffettI have tremendous respect for Mr. Buffett.  But every word that comes out of his mouth should not be looked upon as prophecy, or the gospel truth.  I get a feeling that Buffett has been canonized into a value investor saint  – investors and the media worship the ground he walks on and the air he breathes.  The media are unable to get any critical quotes from his investors, and nobody wants to be caught disagreeing with the Oracle of Omaha – after all he’s been right more often than wrong – and so we only get positive puff pieces.  On the rare occasion when Berkshire Hathaway stock declines more than the market, you see an article asserting that “Buffett has lost his magic touch,” but these articles are usually followed by stellar performance by Berkshire.  Though Buffett deserves admiration – he is brilliant and likable and he has achieved incredible returns for his investors over the last half-century – he should not be canonized, and not everything he does or says is the ultimate truth.  

Most investors agree with Buffett’s criticism of Kraft’s decision to buy a fairly valued (or overvalued) Cadbury at 22 times earnings (over the past 15 years, its average price-to-earnings ratio has been 21), using Kraft’s undervalued stock.  Cadbury runs a global, noncyclical confectionary business that, if properly managed, should have a very high return on capital.  Buffett, a shareholder of Kraft, was very public about his dismay – he said he felt poorer when Cadbury accepted Kraft’s increased offer.  

 But though many agree with Mr. Buffett’s assessment of the Kraft/Cadbury deal, investors and media are completely ignoring Berkshire’s own, $30-billion-plus acquisition of a very cyclical, capital-intensive, not terrifically high-return-on-capital business – Burlington Northern.  A railroad for which Mr. Buffett’s Berkshire will lay out 18 times earnings (over last 15 years its average P/E was 15); and to make it even worse, part of the deal will be financed by issuing what Buffett recently called “cheap” Berkshire stock.  Burlington stock is not cheap, it is fairly priced at best, and likely overpriced.  Also, Buffett owning Burlington Northern will not make the railroad business any more valuable.  There is little value to be unlocked in this business, and Buffett will practice his usual hands-off approach. 

Though Mr.…
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Testy Tuesday – Dow 9,650, Berkshire $60 Edition!

Wheee, this is fun!

Just two weeks ago, on October 17th, I warned in the Weekly Wrap-Up that it was "Dow 10,000 or Bust" for the next week and we failed that one and last Wednesday we were looking to hold NYSE 6,900 and THAT failed too.  Now we enter into the second phase of our limbo game where the deep-voiced guy asks the question "how low can you go?" and we’ll be setting our next bar at our long-standing 9,650 target for the Dow,  which we are already hitting in pre-market trading.  If that fails, we’ll have to look down to S&P 1,000.  As you can see from Jesse’s Chart, we took a nice bounce off serious resistance yesterday but we’re just not feeling it yet, even though the market is now as technically oversold as it was in March

Yesterday was like a roller coaster and my first Alert to Members of the morning targeted 9,775 as the on/off line for our bullish/bearish posture on our DIA covers.  We whipped past that line right about 10 am as we got good reports from ISM, Pending Home Sales and Construction Spending but by 12:45 we had broken back down so I sent out an Alert calling to refocus back to 55% bearish by adding the DIA Jan $100 ($5) and Jan $102 puts ($6.20), already covered by the Nov $99 puts ($2.50). 

The reason we mess around with our covers is we don’t want to flip in and out of our option positions, which are generally either straight bearish or well-hedged long positions, is because options carry a relatively large bid/ask spread and cost you money every time you get in and out.  So, on the whole, we’d rather let our over-riding cover plays, like our DIA spread, adjust our stance as conditions change, making a single adjustment that keeps us balanced as we ride out the market waves. 

It’s been a couple of weeks since we had a good, old-fashioned stick save but we got a mother of one yesterday (as seen in Dave Fry’s chart) which was right on schedule as Kustomz bought it up in Member Chat at 3:09 and I agreed at 3:19 that "It does feel like a pre-stick move" and we grabbed VIX $25 puts at .85 to protect ourselves from a sudden surge in complacency.

By 3:33, my next comment to Members was: "The stick lives!" but…
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More Smelly Emissions From Omaha

More Smelly Emissions From Omaha 

Warren BuffetCourtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker

One would think that Buffett would be a bit more circumspect when his holdings have benefited so wildly from the fraudfest of the last few years:

The “gusher of federal money” has rescued the financial system and the U.S. economy is now on a slow path to recovery, Buffett wrote in a New York Times commentary yesterday. While he applauds measures adopted by the Federal Reserve and officials from the Bush and Obama administrations, Buffett says the U.S. is fiscally in “uncharted territory.”

The "gusher" has done no such thing.

As I have repeatedly pointed out (including in the Tickers of the last two days) the transmission mechanism in our monetary system – the "moneyness" of debt transmission and sale – remains broken.

It remains broken because we have refused to prosecute and remove those who have committed fraud from the system, we have refused to force honest marks to be taken on these so-called "assets", and we have refused to clear the system of the bad debt.

We have instead "gushered" newly-issued Federal Debt into the system.

This is similar to someone presenting in the emergency room with a severed femoral artery.  By continually injecting huge amounts of blood you can prevent circulatory collapse and the death of the patient.

However, your ability to continue this path of "treatment" is limited by your supply of blood.  If you do not repair the severed femoral artery before you run out of blood supply the patient will die.

We have done nothing about the severed femoral artery.

The government is trying to spark business and consumer spending through a $787 billion stimulus plan spanning tax cuts and infrastructure projects, while the Treasury and the Fed have spent billions more on separate programs to rescue financial institutions and resuscitate the banking system. The U.S. budget deficit is forecast to reach a record $1.841 trillion in the year that ends Sept. 30.

There’s the draining of the blood bank.  How much longer can we continue to draw on what our policy-makers seem to think is an unending credit supply of accumulated reserves in China and Japan?

This much is certain: There is a finite supply,…
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Phil's Favorites

Walmart Testing Flippy The Job-Stealing Robot Cook

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Walmart is testing out a new kitchen robot assistant named "Flippy" at its Bentonville, Arkansas headquarters in order to see if it might make for a valuable team member in its in-store delis, according to Yahoo! Finance

While Flippy had somewhat of a rocky start at a Pa...



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Zero Hedge

Walmart Testing Flippy The Job-Stealing Robot Cook

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Walmart is testing out a new kitchen robot assistant named "Flippy" at its Bentonville, Arkansas headquarters in order to see if it might make for a valuable team member in its in-store delis, according to Yahoo! Finance

While Flippy had somewhat of a rocky start at a Pa...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Silver miners testing key breakout level!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Silver miners (SIL) have had a rough 7-years, as the ETF finds itself nearly 75% below its 2011 highs. No doubt the long-term trend remains down.

SIL is has declined 27% since the first of this year (See chart below), where it is testing a falling support line at (1), with momentum currently at the lowest levels in 5-years.

While declining this year, SIL could be creating a bullish falling wedge, where it currently is in a tight jam between support and resistance.

This chart looks at the Year-to-Date performance of miners ETF’s-

...



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Biotech

Those designer babies everyone is freaking out about - it's not likely to happen

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

 

Those designer babies everyone is freaking out about – it's not likely to happen

Babies to order. Andrew crotty/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy A Cecile JW Janssens, Emory University

When Adam Nash was still an embryo, living in a dish in the lab, scientists tested his DNA to make sure it was free of ...



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Insider Scoop

Nvidia Bounces Back After News Of Potential SoftBank Sale

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related NVDA 10 Biggest Price Target Changes For Wednesday Boeing, Lennar, Nvidia, Gold ETF: 'Fast Money' Picks For December 3...

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Members' Corner

Blue Wave with Cheri Jacobus (Q&A II, Updated)

By Ilene at Phil's Stock World

Cheri Jacobus is a widely known political consultant, pundit, writer and outspoken former Republican and frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, CBS.com, CNBC and C-Span. Cheri shares her thoughts on the political landscape with us in a follow up to our August interview.

Updated 12-10-18

Ilene: What do you think about Michael Cohen's claim that the Trump Organization's discussions with high-level Russian officials about a deal for Trump Tower Moscow continued into June 2016?

...

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Digital Currencies

How low will Bitcoin now go? The history of price bubbles provides some clues

 

How low will Bitcoin now go? The history of price bubbles provides some clues

The Bitcoin bubble is perhaps the most extreme speculative bubble since the late 19th century. Shutterstock

Courtesy of Lee Smales, University of Western Australia

Nearly 170 years before the invention of Bitcoin, the journalist Charles Mackay noted the way whole communities could “fix their minds upon one object and go mad in its pursuit”. Millions of people, he wrote, “become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first”.

His book ...



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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Dec 09, 2018

Courtesy of Blain.

Bears are certainly showing the type of strength we haven’t seen in a long time.   A week ago at this time futures were surging on news of a “truce” for 90 days between China and the U.S. in their trade spat.  But the charts were still not saying lovely things despite a major rally the week prior.   And by Tuesday, darkness had descended back on the indexes, with another gut punch Friday.    A lot of emphasis was put on a long term Treasury yield dropping below a shorter term Treasury.

On Monday, the yield on five year government debt slid below the yield on three year debt, a phenomenon which has p...



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Mapping The Market

Trump: "I Won't Be Here" When It Blows Up

By Jean-Luc

Maybe we should simply try him for treason right now:

Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: ‘I Won’t Be Here’ When It Blows Up

The president thinks the balancing of the nation’s books is going to, ultimately, be a future president’s problem.

By Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a “hockey stick” spike in the nationa...



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ValueWalk

Vilas Fund Up 55% In Q3; 3Q18 Letter: A Bull Market In Bearish Forecasts

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

The Vilas Fund, LP letter for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018; titled, “A Bull Market in Bearish Forecasts.”

Ever since the financial crisis, there has been a huge fascination with predictions of the next “big crash” right around the next corner. Whether it is Greece, Italy, Chinese debt, the “overvalued” stock market, the Shiller Ratio, Puerto Rico, underfunded pensions in Illinois and New Jersey, the Fed (both for QE a few years ago and now for removing QE), rising interest rates, Federal budget deficits, peaking profit margins, etc...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

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

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

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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.

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