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

The next cold war? US-China trade war risks something worse

 

The next cold war? US-China trade war risks something worse

There’s a chill in the air these days. AP Photo/Andy Wong

Courtesy of Charles Hankla, Georgia State University

President Donald Trump is making good on his pledge to escalate the trade war with China by imposing tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese goods. The Chinese government, for its part, is already retaliating with new taxes on $60 billion of American imports. ...



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Zero Hedge

The Real Wave Is Red : Republican Sentiment Soars To Record High

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

With stocks at record highs and President Trump gloating at the "record strength" of the US economy, it appears confidence is coming back as sentiment among Republicans reached an all-time record high in the latest Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index.

That's quite a red wave...

...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Lumber prices fall 45% this year, sending macro message?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

 Home and Lumber prices can send important messages to how the economy is doing. The chart above looks at Lumber prices over the past 11-years.

So far this year, Lumber and the DJ Home Construction index is diverging against the broad market. This chart highlights that Lumber is now down over 40% from its peak earlier this year.

Below compares the performance of the S&P to the DJ Home Construction index this year-

...



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Insider Scoop

Buybacks On The Rise, But Buyback ETFs Are Lagging

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related PKW Buybacks Are Falling, But The Buyback ETF Is Rising Gaining Insight With A Buyback ETF Related ...

http://www.insidercow.com/ more from Insider

ValueWalk

The U.S. trade deficit with China is a dangerous scorecard as the mainland remains an unlikely source of U.S. profits

By Joe Quinlan. Originally published at ValueWalk.

With the United States and China at loggerheads over trade, investors should be aware of the many economic ties binding the two countries. Bank of America, U.S. Trust has released a new report that explores some of the finer points of U.S.-Sino relations and the strategic, but little understood, competitive advantages for corporate America.

The seven factors described below underscore the dynamism and competitiveness of U.S. companies and may help explain the resilience of U.S. large cap stocks despite ratcheting trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

Q2 hedge fund letters, conference, scoops etc

U.S.-China Checklist: Understanding Some...

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Chart School

Bitcoin Update - Bullish pressure present

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

If Venezuela or Argentina conducted business in bitcoin then their savings and wealth would be a lot better off. Yes Bitcoin and Litecoin have been volatile over the last few years,  but nothing like Bolivar (Venezuela) or the Peso (Argentina). 

You say they could use the US dollar, yes maybe so, but those who use the US dollar have to the yield to the US Federal Reserve where as bitcoin is decentralized and those who use it yield to no one.

In the next 12 to 18 months the lightning network and atomic swaps logic will forge Bitcoin and Litecoin together as the go to crypto decentralized currency. Of course massive risk, so the investor should be warned you can lose all your funds.  

Time to review the demand ...

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Members' Corner

Why obvious lies still make good propaganda

 

This is very good; it's about "firehosing", a type of propaganda, and how it works.

Why obvious lies still make good propaganda

A 2016 report described Russian propaganda as:
• high in volume
• rapid, continuous and repetitive
• having no commitment to objective reality
• lacking consistency

...

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Digital Currencies

Mania to Mania

 

Mania to Mania

Courtesy of 

“Russell rarely played the stock market and had little investing experience when he put around $120,000 into bitcoin in November 2017.”

This comes from a CNN money article, Bitcoin crash: This man lost his savings when cryptocurrencies plunged. From January 2017 through the peak in early 2018, Ethereum gained 16,915%.

Any time you have something go vertical, you just know that some peopl...



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Biotech

Gene-editing technique CRISPR identifies dangerous breast cancer mutations

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

 

Gene-editing technique CRISPR identifies dangerous breast cancer mutations

Breast cancer type 1 (BRCA1) is a human tumor suppressor gene, found in all humans. Its protein, also called by the synonym BRCA1, is responsible for repairing DNA. ibreakstock/Shutterstock.com

By Jay Shendure, University of Washington; Greg Findlay, ...



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Mapping The Market

Mistakes were Made. (And, Yes, by Me.)

Via Jean-Luc:

Famed investor reflecting on his mistakes:

Mistakes were Made. (And, Yes, by Me.)

One that stands out for me:

Instead of focusing on how value factors in general did in identifying attractive stocks, I rushed to proclaim price-to-sales the winner. That was, until it wasn’t. I guess there’s a reason for the proclamation “The king is dead, long live the king” when a monarchy changes hands. As we continued to update the book, price-to-sales was no longer the “best” single value factor, replaced by others, depending upon the time frames examined. I had also become a lot more sophisticated in my analysis—thanks to criticism of my earlier work—and realized that everything, including factors, moves in and out of favor, depending upon the market environment. I also realized...



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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"

 

 

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:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

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

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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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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