Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday Randomosity

  • It seems as if I am a bit "early" in my stock buys today, eh? Sure, I probably should have waited until near the close. But buyers could have came in trying to do the same thing I am. I think the bearishness is getting a bit thick. And lots of warnings about September coming. So, trying to fade that a little.

  • Jeremy Siegal says that income investors should look at large cap dividend stocks and get out of bonds. He lists the top-10 large cap dividend payers. I agree, but I'm more slanted to growth right now.
  • "We'll slog our way through this", said Thomas Hoenig, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  • I think that is true. But I also think things are better out there than what we're reading in the papers or watching on Glenn Beck. And by the way, how many attending the Restoring Honor rally? Liberals cling to the 87,000 number from CBS. ABC said between 200,000 and 600,000. NBC said 300,000 to 500,000. And I say who the heck cares? More than a handful attended. Good enough.
  • Paris Hilton To Face Felony Drug Charge Report. We will put a picture in of Paris from her glory days; and I do mean the Carl's Jr. Bikini ads. Those were hot.
  • Jim Rogers is a little gloomy on the US nothing new. Likes Asia. Thinks the US debt problem is a historical problem that will end as it has always done.

Buying Stocks

Taking a position in some stocks here. $$ If the Labor Day pattern holds (as noted below) maybe there will be some pop after today's swoon.

Maybe. [crosses fingers]

Maybe not.

Stock Market Returns Around Labor Day

So, I guess it's a good time to look at how the market has done before and after Labor Day.

All of this news will come just in time for the Labor Day weekend, a historically unkind time for stocks. The folks at Bespoke Investment Group, an investment research and money management firm, crunched 20-years of data and found that the Dow doesn't like the end of summer anymore than anyone else does.

On average, the Dow has lost 0.54% in the five days before Labor Day over the last 20 years, the firm found. That would equate to a decline of about 55 points on the blue-chip index this week, leaving it below 10,100. When investors return from the holiday, the results historically have been equally lackluster. In the four-day trading week following Labor Day weekend, the Dow has averaged declines of 0.04% in the past 20 years.

As the researchers at Bespoke put it, "Isn't the end of summer already depressing enough?"

See full article from DailyFinance:

And here is a longer term chart. Looks like so far, things are progressing as expected...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Big Bond Bubble

I think we all know that at some point, bond investors will get crushed when rates begin to rise.

On the other hand, yields continue to fall and "the experts" expect more rate declines as the sluggish economy stumbles along.

I will say it again, but I think the economy is on the mend.

Bloom Box is Trending

I downloaded a new trending topics app, and Bloom Box was the number one item. What is it? Alternative energy!

Not to be confused with what else showed up in the search results, Boom Blox, a game for the Nintendo Wii.

Let's hope Bloom Box is more successful than Boom Blox was for the Wii.

The iPad app is called TrendTopic. Very cool way to view what's hot on the web via Twitter and Google.

Marketing Carrots

I'm sorry. Doritos don't outsell carrots because of marketing. But here is an attempt to repackage carrots as a cool snack.

I think people are smarter than this. You stick a pack of baby carrots in a kid's lunch, and he is going to know that they're carrots. Plus, doesn't this increased packaging make the cost of baby carrots increase?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

EPA Tribunal to Come Down on Coal

Remember when the EPA became empowered to make environmental decisions without going through Congress and the President? And so it begins.

First batter up: The coal industry.

Of course, coal ash is one of the worst byproducts around. I think at first glance, everyone would love to end the use of coal. It's dirty. There's really no clean way to burn it.

But, the nation gets a bulk of our energy from coal. See the problem?

The EPA could force expensive modifications that would be paid by companies; er, I mean people who use energy created by burning coal. I think that's you and me.

We need a better alternative, right?

The right answer would be to begin replacing coal plants with new nuclear power plants. But despite the promises of the Obama administration, that solution seems to remain on the back burner.

So we are now at the mercy of the EPA tribunals. No doubt, the people who work there are all big believers in global warming. It is not difficult to predict what they will decide on coal ash, and that is to come after our wallets.

Good Times, Bad Times

Market rallies early, as investors were excited that the first-time jobless claims were only 473,000 instead of the median forecast 490,000. Phew, only 473,000! Good times! But then, just as the party hats were being passed out, concerns about the economy returned and the gains were reversed, bringing the Dow below 10,000 for the first time since July 6th.

DOW down .74%, SP500 down .77%, and the Nasdaq led down with a 1.07% fall.

Have you taken a look at a chart lately? Talk about a whole lotta sideways.

I’m thinking early on, that I should be buying near 1040 on the SP500. The market heads up early and I wonder if I “missed” it, but still worried that there is a bunch of September ahead of us. And September tends to be a bad month for the markets.

September can also be a bad month if you have a bad fantasy football draft.

Anyway, remaining patient. Closing in on month-end and paydays. Could see the dollar cost averagers coming in on light volume to lend some support to the upside

Bristol Palin to join Dancing With The Stars. Hey, that's coming up, too. So I give you a picture of Cheryl Burke.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Everybody Loves a Sale!

  • imageYesterday’s selling was because of the worst housing news ever in the history of the planet.  That wasn’t enough to keep bargain shoppers away today, as the market hit key support levels… after four straight days of avoiding risk, traders began edging out of safe assets like Treasurys and back into stocks.  Kind of like red coming up on the roulette wheel four times in a row.  Black is due.
  • I will never complain about Sacramento’s 30-minute commute, sometimes 50 minutes when school is in session.  Chinese traffic jam is 9-days.  That’s going to put a crimp in the 40-hour work week.  What’s your out of office notification say?  “Out of office, stuck in traffic, be back in 9 days.”
  • I’m going to be honest.  Once my traffic jam exceeds an hour on the worst day, I’m moving closer to work or getting a job closer to home.
  • We’re all in a race to the bottom…investors are beginning to see risk in a different light: The only "growth" is from stimulus, and how long can that last?  Kind of an interesting, if pessimistic, view.  I’m not convinced of doomsday, but understand the argument.
  • From Howard Lindzon, the 50 best websites of 2010.  His StockTwits site made it.  The Learning Curve?  Uh, no.  Maybe 2011. [crosses fingers]
  • Apple is holding a special event on September 1st.  Oh my goodness, what do I have to stand in a waiting line for next?  Well, we will find out next week.
  • Is 2010 like 1982?  Reagan’s first two years were a bit rocky.  Maybe, huh?  Actually, I think the odds are pretty good that the economy is back on its feet soon.  But not soon enough for those poor incumbents in November.
  • Picture is of Anushka Setty.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesday Market Thoughts

Yes, it’s a work from home day.  Does that mean I just watch the stock market in between pool time?  Lets keep that a secret.  But if one is watching CNBC today, one may want to drown their sorrows in something more than just a few drinks. It’s down right dismal on money tube!

The stock market is down well over a percent.  It’s been ugly all day.  Getting the blame?  Plunging home sales.

imageU.S. home sales plummeted in July as potential buyers stayed on the sidelines, spurring fears of renewed weakness in housing prices and the broader economy.

Sales of previously owned homes declined 27% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.83 million, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday, the lowest level since the industry group started its tally in 1999.

The expiration of a home-buyer tax credit in the spring was expected to damp buying, though less severely. The sales drop—together with a corresponding rise in the inventory of unsold homes—also means another leg down in housing prices is on the horizon, say economists.

Remember when folks’ biggest asset was their home?  Well, maybe that’s not the case anymore.  Gee, shoulda-coulda rented, eh?  Maybe that’s what folks are doing now.

No wage growth, either.  Maybe folks face a job loss.  Lots of reasons to be melancholy.  Then, they read in the headlines that the state government is in big debt and shutting down offices and firing teachers.

I’m going to keep saying this, but I do believe this is just a summertime and mid-term election correction.  There’s always a reason du jour.  The economy has turned, but it just hasn’t show in employment numbers. 

There are many reasons employers have yet to rehire.  They just finished firing people, for goodness sakes.  They may want to work folks overtime and wait and see if the numbers continue to improve over a few quarters.

I remain with a bunch of cash on the sidelines, but it is getting tempting to dip a toe in the waters.  Especially as we close in on the July lows.  Just being patient for now.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday Randomosity (plus Hindenburg Omen)

  • image US tax dollars well spent!  Paying Chinese prostitutes to drink more responsibly.  “The federal government is spending $2.6 million to make sure prostitutes in China drink less on the job.”  Seems more like an anti-stimulus package to me.  Just saying.
  • Oh, low volume day in the stock market.  But not a nice pullback considering the open.  Tech remains week.  Without tech and banks, forget about it.
  • What’s the hubbub about the Hindenburg Omen? The Omen, a technical indicator which uses a plethora of data to foreshadow a stock-market crash, was tripped again on Friday, marking the second time since Aug. 12 it has occurred
  • But… wait for it… The Omen has been behind every market crash since 1987, but significant stock-market declines have followed only 25% of the time. So there’s a high likelihood that the Omen could be nothing more than a false signal.
  • Jerry Brown vs. Meg Whitman:  The California Governor’s race, via bobbleheads.  The Sacramento River Cats  on Friday held their own kind of gubernatorial election - a bobblehead contest. The team gave away 2,500 bobbleheads in the likeness of Whitman and Democratic candidate Jerry Brown.  Team spokeswoman Rebecca Brutlag says the Whitman bobbleheads were snatched up first, making her the winner.
  • Philadelphia wants to tax bloggers $300. Even though small-time bloggers aren't exactly raking in the dough, the city requires privilege licenses for any business engaged in any "activity for profit," says tax attorney Michael Mandale of Center City law firm Mandale Kaufmann. This applies "whether or not they earned a profit during the preceding year," he adds.  Call the moving truck.  Time to move beyond the city limits!
  • Porn is now available in Iraq.  Woohoo!  Freedom rocks!
  • Free just costs too much these days.  And not everyone can afford it.  Stampede on for Obamacare in NJJust two people in New Jersey will begin receiving coverage Monday under new plans created by federal health care reforms.  …  Two policies are available, with premiums ranging from $212 to $768 monthly, depending on age.
  • As for me… Back to the dentist this afternoon. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

TGIF Randomosity

The stock market is coming back after the major suckage earlier. I don't read much into that as it is late on a Friday. But maybe those who are all in find it less unnerving. A few randomosities ...

  • CA furlough Fridays are back. I thought traffic would be lighter coming in, but I guess the state workers are taking advantage of a long summer weekend and heading out of town. Or all heading out to the liquor store at the same time.
  • The new normals. Five behavioral changes in this new economic era. I kind of agree. Folks adapt. Think about your financial values compared to the previous generations. We are a product of our knowledge and experience.
  • Unemployment Rates, by State. Nevada, California and Michigan are the worst. Although, it's not like I'm not trying to help Nevada with these weekend jaunts to the Silver State. North Dakota is the best. Nice double negative above, Muck. I'm leaving it!
  • I'm wearing glasses today. Totally four-eyes. Tired of the contacts plus reading glasses, I went all in on some progressive glasses. Now, I believe that if you're going to do something, you do it right. I got the clip on shades and the lenses change tint in sunlight. Like I said, I'm all in on this four eyes thing. Geek!
  • So that leads us to sci-fi Asian babe of the day, again, Grace Park. I was in line yesterday and was reading a Wiki and came across Grace. So I read her background. She received a degree in Psychology before acting. There you go. Beauty and brains.
  • I like doing the audioboos, especially with a little music in the background. So I found an iPhone and ipad app called Caster. I have the free version now. It is a multitrack recorder that allows you to add clips and rearrange clips. I'm emailing with the developer to fix a few issues with the mixer. It could be user error. Documentation is poor but not hard to figure out with a little messing around But probably worth the $9.99 if things get fixed. Not bad.

TGIF Stock Selling Continued

Well, you didn't hear it from me, but the market has given back quite a bit of the summer rally.

That didn't take long.

We'll keep it just between you and me for now. No reason to stir it up and worry anyone.

I remain with a bunch of cash, but find myself not only looking over fantasy football projections, but my list of potential fantasy stocks, too.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Social Security Cuts?

Okay, first politician up for re-election in favor of cutting Social Security benefits, raise your hand.

Anyone? Anyone?

Yeah, didn't think so.

It makes for great chatter, but the ultimate remedy will not involve falling on the sword. Maybe we will see payroll taxes increase. Maybe we will see means testing so that "the rich" get reduced benefits.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

#12: Randoms: Summer,iphone,Dentist,Stock Market

Wednesday Randomosity

  • The market was higher again. Not that impressive the way the past two days have ended. But, up is up. Still in August. I still have cash on the sidelines.

  • One letter can make a lot of difference. Evan Longoria's (not pictured) 4 RBI helps Rays sweep Rangers.
  • Eva Longoria. Pictured. It's a big one-letter difference.
  • Son, there's no recession in football. As of Aug. 1, FanSnap secondary ticket price data reveals that 2010 NFL secondary ticket prices are up 64% compared to year-to-date prices from 2009. Forget ObamaCare, where's ObamaSeats?
  • In addition to the Dave Ramsey iPhone app listed in the previous blog entry, I downloaded some other financial apps. Reviews coming. Why not? And Yahoo Finance has an app now, too. Easier to blog from the iPhone and iPad!
  • Count me in the "global warming just may be a scam" camp. If there's such a camp. Why? Global warming satellite temperatures look pretty shaky, too. US Government admits global warming satellite sensors "degraded" - temperatures may be out by 10-15 degrees. Now five satellites in controversy. Top scientists speak out. Yes, that's from the Canada Free Press. Still. Oh, sign me up for dark chocolate smores, too.

What Would Dave Do?

Have you downloaded the Ask Dave Ramsey app for the iPhone?

I just did. A review coming. This ought to be funny. I don't know if funny as in "strange" or "ha ha."

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Everyone Knows it's a Bond Bubble

See? Everyone knows it's a bond bubble. The Wall Street Journal says so!

Well, they're probably right. And, as you know, I'm a sucker for a cute picture. But interest rates can stay very low for a long time. Just ask Japan.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hulu IPO a Good Thing

Maybe it's just me, but I think this market needs a little excitement. A Hulu IPO makes sense.

Hulu is making money. They're adding subscription models via TV devices connected to the Internet. And it seems like the whole content-on-demand is coming on line. This is especially true with faster broadband coming soon.

Other than sports, who watches live TV anymore? I've thought about getting rid of the dish for an HD antenna. I already have a Roku box and a PS3 for streaming movies, Hulu, and MLB over the Internet to the TV. If it wasn't for Directv's monopoly on the NFL Sunday Ticket, I'd probably get rid of the dish.

I think the IPO is a positive for the market. We need a little excitement and speculation.

Middle of August

  • Nothing has changed in my investment outlook. But I am making a list of what I want to buy. Although, purchases will mostly be the VB and QQQQ. When the time is right.

  • China cut its holdings of Treasury notes and bonds by the most ever, raising speculation the plunge in U.S. yields that sent two-year rates to a record low has made government securities too expensive for some investors. I'm a little scared of bonds, too. I don't believe in the double dip, and think that economic growth may actually increase.
  • Say, that reminds me. I heard someone opine that one of the reasons employment continues to lag is because of pending tax increases. So, companies and small businesses are taking profits now at lower tax rates, and delaying expenditures until next year to offset tax hikes. Interesting thought, huh?
  • Stimulus money unspent as economy struggles. You know, I wonder why? We have a government that is not bashful about spending. Maybe the cash should be used to pay off debt.
  • Who is the girl with the dragon tattoo? Rooney Mara. Pictured!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saturday Randomosity


  • In case you missed it, the Dow was down 3.3% this week.  It would take about 38 years to recover that at today’s money market interest rates.   Oh, I don’t really know how long it would take.  And I’m not going to do the math.  But it would be a while.
  • Does the Fed need to raise rates?  Fed Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Thomas Hoenig (not pictured) thinks so.  "We need to get off of the emergency rate of zero, move rates up slowly and deliberately," which will bring policy in better alignment "with the economy's slow, deliberate recovery," the official said. While the markets may like the current stance of monetary policy, Hoenig said "I wish free money was really free and that there was a painless way to move from severe recession and high leverage to robust and sustainable economic growth, but there is no short cut." 
  • Sure.  Raise interest rates, raise taxes, and cut government spending.  Well, a good idea in an economic boom anyway.  I wonder what country this “Kansas City” is in.  Must be good times there.
  • Shania Twain the next American Idol judge?
  • Oh noes, run for the hills!  Oracle wields Java as a weapon!
  • If you’ve ever programmed in Java, and I’m looking at you Shania Twain, it’s not a bad weapon of mass destruction.  I don’t really like it.  I guess it gets the job done.
  • Me? I’m going to a Miami Dolphins pre-season game party!  Now that ought to be interesting for about seven minutes.  I don’t yet have a Chad Henne jersey.  But everyone will be so impressed when I do!  (bah).
  • President Obama backs the ground zero mosque.  I’m all for protecting everyone’s rights and all, but to me this just seems in poor taste.  It shouldn’t be against the law, but I’d think Muslim leaders would respect people’s feelings.  This isn’t the kind of thing that brings people together.  It’s a big thorn in the foot.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thursday Market Thoughts and Randomosity

  • Let me take a stab at the headline: The stock market is on the skids as the economic data continues to underwhelm and suggest that slow growth continues. Well, duh. Didn't we kind of know this? We are creating government jobs and temporary jobs. The Federal and State governments are reeling under heavy debt and decreasing tax revenues. Taxes at all levels are going up. Companies are hesitant to hire after recent staff reductions until there are better signs ahead.

  • I don't want to get too low or too high here. By the way, if I had to choose, I'd pick the latter. But as far as stocks go, it still feels to me as a very typical mid-term election year pattern in the market. The market rallied into the Spring, had a correction, had a Summer rally, and is now retrenching. If this plays out like I think it will, there will be a chance to buy back in and make some nice gains. I remain with some cash on the sidelines.
  • It's not all bad headline news. Caterpillar to build new plant in Texas that will employ 500. Go big Cat!
  • The trouble with chick flicks. Bottom line is money. More people will go see an action flick I've said this before, too. I love me a good chick flick. I draw the line at too much angst and terminal diseases (aka, too much reality). But sign me up for a good romantic comedy with a happy ending. Have I mentioned I like happy endings? Just saying.
  • Don't draft these guys too early in your fantasy football draft. Almost time to start thinking about that with the onslaught of pre-season NFL! I hope Ronnie Brown comes out strong, but he is injury prone. I was 8-0 when he got hurt last year and then struggled in the second half...

Picture is of Gong Li.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

CA Personal Income Drop

They say that supply-side economics is all voodoo and such. I'm looking at you, former President George Bush the First.

He said that while campaigning against Ronald Reagan in 1980.
I wonder how ol' Pappy Bush is doing these days? I always kind if liked the guy. Or maybe I liked Dana Carvey's SNL skits. Either way.

But look at this $40 billion in personal income loss. From That can't be good. Obviously, that didn't flow into the government coffers to get spent on programs. Although Arnold and the Legislature sure spend money as if they had the money.

But $40B? The California personal tax rate gets to 9.3% in a hurry. And that doesn't include the magic of compounding as the money gets spent and taxed in the economy multiple times. The state sales tax is very close to 10% in some places.

Anyway. Good morning. Nice day in the markets, eh?

Anyone see $40B laying around, or perhaps a voodoo doll?

Here's Grace Park (again), who appears on the cover of TV Guide for the new Hawaii Five-O.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

And Then, The Instant Watch Queue Exploded

Did you read that $NFLX is expanding their online streaming offerings?

Yeah, that sound you just hear was my Instant Watch queue exploding. I think I already have over 200 movies and TV shows in the queue.

I told my coworker that I'm going to have to bring my Roku box to work. I feel pressure to move that queue. I hope the bosses at the Fun Factory understand.

Maybe they'll bring the popcorn.

Netflix stock marches on...

Ben Bernanke Has Our Six

Bernanke (not pictured) came out today and said, paraphrasing, "I got your six."

Maybe this is news to you, but the economy remains sluggish. So, bottom line is that the Fed will keep pouring the cash in. Why, almost as if Ben himself is dropping cash from a helicopter!

There is a nickname idea in there somewhere.

Nice turnaround after the Fed announced. I was listening to an online stream from some daytrader (more later, remind me) who was going all Vin Scully on the short squeeze as the Fed announced. Quite entertaining. But then I was pulled into a meeting. So much for that. Like a good Dodgers fan, I missed the close.

Picture is from the WSJ. The above picture. Not the other one. That's from somewhere else.

Again, I give you Hyori Lee. Or Lee Hyori. Which is it?

Tuesday Fed Watch

Grab the popcorn! It's Ben Bernanke (not pictured) time!

  • Market down, but is this all just noise ahead of The Fed? China may be slowing. Look. Bottom line is that we need an excuse for a pull back after this summer rally. It will all seem obvious in hindsight.
  • Who dat girl? Hyori Lee. I'm never sure if it's last name, first name or first name, last name. Either way, she's a cutie.
  • Intel chip demand down? I don't think that's a good thing. The world runs on chips. Both kinds, semi and potato.
  • Five ideas to stimulate te economy. I don't know if I agree with CNN on these. Let's see what Bernanke says.
  • Verizon releases Droid 2. I'm getting confused. Does it seem like there is a new Droid out every few days? Geez, take a nap and you might miss one. I'm sure they are great phones but it seems to be an easy set up for buyers remorse.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Monday Randomosity

  • imageThis is August.  The stock market is supposed to be a little rocky after a July rally, and heading into the dreaded month of September and the volatile month of October.  But the market seems to be doing whatever the heck it wants to, despite history.  I’m thinking we have a little rocky-ness ahead, but I haven’t been right about that.
  • What?  I missed the Teen Choice Awards?  Again?  Ashley Green pictured.  From the Twilight Saga, or so I hear.  I haven’t seen that last one.
  • Incomes fall in most metro areas. Personal incomes fell across the U.S. last year except in areas with a high concentration of federal government and military jobs, the Commerce Department said Monday. They declined most in places with a lot of housing and finance jobs.  Yeah, those government jobs.  Well, state government jobs took a hit I guess (furloughs in CA).
  • Defense Secretary Robert Gates (not pictured) announces defense cuts.  Overall, a good thing.  But it doesn’t mean terrorism goes away.
  • The long, cool summer. Normally in June and July, San Jose has seven or eight days when the temperatures climb into the 90s, Weather Service meteorologist Larry Smith said. But since June 1, the thermometer in San Jose has registered in the 90s only two days. The last day was June 27. It’s been a chilly summer here in Northern California.  Hey, we’re being green and using less AC!
  • Wider waist may raise death risk later in life.  What?  You’re kidding.  Who saw that coming?  You think that’s stimulus dollars at work doing the research on that study? 
  • I haven’t mentioned it lately, but I still have some cash on the sidelines.  Just being honest.  Missed the rally!  And the Teen Choice Awards.  It’s the summer for missing stuff.
  • The payday for Mark Hurd keeps growing.  Up to $40M?  Holy buckets. 
  • On those defense cuts, Virginia will feel the most pain.  All together… Poor Virginia!  First, the Santa Claus thing and now this?

Let's Raise Taxes Mania

I can't remember anytime where folks were as excited about raising taxes. Greenspan, Stockman, Rubin and O'Neil are all for letting the Bush tax cuts expire and whittling down the deficit.

I think that is Paul O'Neil, not General Jack O'Neill from Stargate SG-1.

So these guys, excluding Rubin, were seemingly conservatives at one time in the recent past. Has "supply-side" thought bit the dust? Is the only way to better the economy is giving more of our incomes to the government?

After all, the only sector adding jobs recently is the public sector, i.e. government jobs. Is that where we are headed? Will everyone be a firefighter, teacher or prison guard?

I have always believed that more money in our pockets is the best way to stimulate economic growth and eventually tax revenues. When we decide how to spend our money, it's a true measure of demand that sparks innovation. You and me rush out to buy iPhones and iPads, not carbon credits and bridges to nowhere.

Shorter? Tax rates are going up.

No word on the thoughts regarding higher taxes from the rest of SG-1, Daniel Jackson, Teal'c or Samantha Carter.

Tweet: 5tevenw, 8/9/10 2:00 PM

Steven Winterburn (@5tevenw)
8/9/10 2:00 PM
The website said if I wanted to log in, I must allow cookies. So much for my diet.

Posted via email from muckdog's posterous

Sunday, August 08, 2010

HP Sex Harassment Scandal

Well, then there's the Mark Hurd HP sexual harassment scandal.

Aw, she never intended Mark Hurd to throw his career away. Isn't that cute? But the settlement package is still pretty sweet, along the lines of having your cake and eating it, too.

I want more details. What would prompt a guy to throw his career away?

I haven't seen any pictures and I don't know what Jodie Fisher looks like. But I'm thinking if it were me, and I'm going to be "ousted" and forced to settle for a multi-million settlement package...

I will take my $20 mil. in shame and try to live with myself. Maybe get some guest spots on the Fox Business Block. Watch out Brenda Buttner.

Public Pension Palooza

Via Mish, a huge battle looms over public pensions.

Nothing seems to be getting more press than pensions of government workers. They can retire at a young age with full health care benefits and a sizable monthly check.

The actuaries must have been out to lunch. These formulas don't pencil out.

I don't think we can change benefits promise to current workers, but going forward it seems like the formulas need to be changed.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Saturday Randomosity

  • Another great summer weekend in full gear. Hope you are enjoying the sunshine.

  • Norm ruminates that the forgotten indicators are flashing warnings. My worry is that we are sluggish and facing tax hikes (personal and health care). So business still aren't hiring.

  • I'm still bullish and believe that the worst is behind us. I'm hoping the best isn't behind us, too.

  • Dr. Jeff on the value of editors. Do you only read headlines?

  • Tim Wood writes about market manipulation and technical analysis.
  • This weekend finds me cycling, weight lifting, watching baseball, and streaming movies to the TV via Netflix on the Roku. I'm a sucker for romantic comedies. I liked the Indie film Timer.

Social Security

Make sure to check out this article on the future of Social Security and how to maximize benefits. Read the comments for some laughs, too.

From Kiplinger on Yahoo.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Tax Hikes to Take Flight

The "tax cuts expire" sounds less painful than "new tax hikes" in 2011.

My take is that for every dollar you give the government, they like to spend a buck-fifty. I'm rounding, of course. Maybe it's more, maybe it's less. But the money get spent in different ways that you and I might spend that money. That's a little less efficient use of the money.

Maybe we'd go buy iPhones and take vacations. Maybe we'd save for kids' college or retirement. Instead, the government may spend it on a museum in Pittsburgh or a study of insects mating habits.

All of these help create jobs. But if you and I had the money maybe instead of the museums and the insect study, those folks would be building Tech facilities and studying ways to make longer-lasting batteries.

But absent congressional action, tax rates will increase in 2011. And to assist you with the elevated tax rates, here are some Air Asia stewardesses.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

August is Usually Weak

August tends to be a bad month in the stock market.

For those who follow seasonality, the summer tends to go nowhere even with a summer rally. July definitely gave us that, and yesterday the market showed no signs of slowing down. Even today's initial weakness seems to have eased a bit as the trading day goes on.

I think the most likely scenario is a pullback over the next few weeks. No signs of that yet, though.

I think it's obvious that the worst is behind us as far as the economy goes. I don't know if folks will realize this before the Fall election, though.


In edit: This is one of those entries via the iPhone 4 (using Blogpress), where I forgot to finish my contents after inserting the picture.

The creator of the Cheez Doodle, Morrie Yohai, has passed away.

Favre Done

Brett Favre is done.