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

Arrogance destroyed the World Trade Organisation. What replaces it will be even worse

 

Arrogance destroyed the World Trade Organisation. What replaces it will be even worse

As the public face of globalism, the WTO mobilised protesters. It’ll be replaced by the law of the jungle. fuzheado/Flikr, CC BY-SA

Courtesy of John Quiggin, The University of Queensland

In line with his usual practice, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has backed Donald Trump over the World Trade Organisation, criticising of China’s status in it as a “developing country”.

Critics of the int...



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Zero Hedge

Trump Touts China Buying Agriculture Products, But Traders Firmly Disagree

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

In a series of comments to reporters on Monday afternoon, President Trump was busy pumping more trade headlines to trigger algo buying and push E-Mini S&P500 futures above the 3k mark. The plan worked but didn't generate a massive short-cover like the president was expecting. 

Here are some of the headlines President Trump dished out in the early afternoon to boost stocks (must defend 3K E-Mini S&P500 level) :

    ...


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Kimble Charting Solutions

Apple Bullish Breakout Suggesting Tech Follows In Its Path?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Is Apple sending a bullish message to the overall Tech market? Sure could be

Apple (AAPL) is working on a breakout above last year’s highs at (1), after creating a series of higher lows over the past year.

Tech ETF QQQ has been a similar-looking pattern to Apple over the past few months, as it is near old highs while creating higher lows.

Is Apple’s upside breakout suggesting that QQQ will follow in its footsteps and breakout?

Str...



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Insider Scoop

How Much Litigation Risk Is Priced Into Johnson & Johnson?

Courtesy of Benzinga

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) just can't seem to shake its talcum powder problems.

On Friday, Johnson & Johnson recalled 33,000 bottles of baby powder after a bottle purchased online by the FDA tested positive to asbestos.

Last year, a jury awarded a group ...



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Digital Currencies

Five hurdles blockchain faces to revolutionise banking

 

Five hurdles blockchain faces to revolutionise banking

Shutterstock

Courtesy of Markos Zachariadis, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick

Blockchain is touted as the next step in the digital revolution, a technology that will change every industry from music to wast...



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Chart School

Gold Stocks Review

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Gold stocks are swinging back forth between the range, and a break out swing higher is due. Gold stocks are holding a near perfect Wyckoff accumulation pattern. All should get ready to play this sector. Yet we must recognize that gold stocks are a one of the most crazy rides at the stock market fair, so play very carefully.

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GDX PnF chart from within the video

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Important channels around the HUI.
...

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The Technical Traders

Treasuries Pause Near Resistance Before The Next Rally

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our research team believes the US Treasuries and the US Dollar will continue to strengthen over the next 2 to 6+ weeks as foreign market and emerging market credit and debt concerns outweigh any concerns originating from the US economy or political theater.  Overall, the major global economies will likely continue to see strength related to their currencies and debt instruments simply because the foreign market and emerging markets are dramatically more fragile than the more mature major global economies.

We believe the US Treasuries may surprise investors by rallying from current levels, near price resistance, to levels above $151 on the TLT chart. 

Our belief ...



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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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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.

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About Phil:

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