Table On-Topic Summary - 18-Sep-2002
A compilation of this board's financial/economic posts From 42125 to 42192

Post  42125  by  Decomposed       Reply

You should know that "the challenge" you're proposing wouldn't actually prove anything. In such a short period of time, the results would come down to the short-term movements of the market... not the long-term potency of the companies you like the invest in. A long-term bull could easily lose a short term contest. Even Warren Buffett had a lousy year.

For that reason, I can understand Culmus's reluctance to stake anything on it. What I understand LESS is your certainty that you would come out on top in such a short-term contest! Short-term isn't exactly your forte' either.

However, the fact that it doesn't prove anything doesn't mean that it wouldn't be INTERESTING. I propose opening the contest to the entire board, and using an outside vendor to do the portfolio and transaction management. (To keep the contest "honest.")

I highly recommend if there is interest in such a competition. I haven't used it in more than a year so it my have changed, but when I last used it it was probably the best internet-based stock market contest site that I found. And it's free, of course.

If you're serious about a competition, this would be the way to do it.

Post  42126  by  Decomposed       OT: Table ON TOPIC SUMMARY Sep 17, 2002

Post  42127  by  pmcw       Reply
max, That would be the epitomy of jumping from pan to fire. Without an increase in telecom cap/ex, which I don't see evidence of anything spectacular in 2003, both can only hope to reduce costs in order to turn a profit. There's clearly not enough market for anyone to take enough market share to show a meaningful increase in sales. That is not the kind of play I would make in any market.

I would take a close look at my focus three plays right now and staple semi companies. If they aren't at a bottom, they are very close. And, if you have a reasonable horizon, they are very low risk buys right now.

Regards, pmcw

Post  42128  by  clo       Reply
Tokyo Stocks Fall, Dollar Weakens

TOKYO, Sep 18, 2002 (AP Online via COMTEX) -- Tokyo stocks skidded Tuesday
following the dip on Wall Street, but losses were narrowed by the Japanese
central bank's announcement that it would consider new steps to stabilize the
financial sector. The dollar weakened against the yen.

The benchmark 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average was down 71.88 points, or 0.75
percent, at 9,472.06 points at the close of Wednesday trading. The Nikkei gained
302.01 points, or 3.27 percent, to close at 9,543.94 Tuesday.

The dollar was trading at 122.20 yen on the Tokyo foreign exchange market at 3
p.m. (2 a.m. EDT) Wednesday, down 0.71 yen from late Tuesday, and below its New
York trading level late Tuesday of 122.36 yen.

Traders said that stock selling in New York overnight led to profit-taking in
Tokyo that sent the Nikkei down nearly 250 points, or 2.6 percent.

But Bank of Japan Governor Masaru Hayami's announcement that he was considering
steps to shore up the banking sector and help lenders get rid of bad loans
sparked a late afternoon rebound that narrowed losses, traders said.

High tech blue chips Toshiba, Sony, and Sharp were among the decliners.

Hayami said Japan's central bank is considering directly buying excess stocks
held by shaky commercial banks.

Japan's banks have been selling off their shareholdings to raise funds needed to
write off massive non performing loans, which have constricted growth and
weighed on stocks.

In New York, a drop in industrial production and a profit warning from
McDonald's Tuesday took a jab at investors' already shaky confidence in the U.S.
economy, prompting them to again sell off stocks.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 172.63, or 2.1 percent, at
8,207.55. The broader Nasdaq composite index declined 15.94, or 1.3 percent, to

The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index closed trading down by 4.63 points, or 0.50
percent, at 9927.29 Wednesday. The TOPIX was up 24.01 points, or 2.64 percent,
at 932.42 Tuesday.

The euro traded at 118.92 Wednesday mid-afternoon, up from 118.76 yen late
Tuesday, in Tokyo. Against the dollar, the euro was quoted at 97.10 cents, up
from 96.41.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond rose to 1.2550 percent
Wednesday, from 1.0550 percent Tuesday. Its price fell 1.82 to 100.39.


On the Net:

Japan's Tokyo Stock Exchange:

Copyright 2002 Associated Press, All rights reserved


Post  42129  by  clo       Reply
JPM trading at 19.00 & HSY is (- down 9+ points,) according to Instinet. clo
*** end of story **

Post  42130  by  clo       Reply
HSY now trading @ 62.50 down (-11.31)
ORCL @ 8.38 down (-.65)
MSFT @ 46.23 down (-1.06)
GE @ 27.65, with the news that double digit earnings may be a thing of the past for them...
Oh, and Dennis Kozlowski, (TYC) may be a guest at Rikers Island prison tomorrow, since he is having difficulty coming up with "clean money" to make bail...

Enjoy your day despite the market! clo

Post  42131  by  abveldeh       Reply
What really hit the Pentagon??
Find the missing Boeing

Post  42132  by  uponroof       Reply
Thanks clo: more on JAPAN this morning...
"shocking" activity according to Standard and Poors.

Keep an eye out for possible JPMC linkage to this?


TOKYO, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Japan's central bank, moving to allay fears of a financial crisis, announced unprecedented plans on Wednesday to buy shares directly from banks in a surprise step that drove up stock prices but put its credibility on the line.

Sailing into uncharted waters for a central bank, the Bank of Japan said the plan was aimed at preventing market volatility and banking system instability from feeding on each other.

"The central bank must consider measures that will help banks reduce risks from their shareholdings," Bank of Japan Governor Masaru Hayami told a news conference.

The move -- described by ratings agency Standard and Poor's as "shocking" -- follows a fall in the Nikkei share average to 19-year lows this month, raising concerns about a financial crisis ahead of half-year book-closing on September 30.

Post  42133  by  Tampathom       OT: More French B.S. I'm surprised a smart Dutchm

Post  42134  by  abveldeh       Reply
It comes from a fervent pro USA poster at NEWS board so keep your vomiting on Europeans for your own kin.

Post  42135  by  uponroof       Reply
Fannie Mae's Risk to Be Scrutinized

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 (Reuters) — A mortgage market regulator has told Congress that it will step up scrutiny of a portfolio risk measure at the mortgage finance company Fannie Mae after the measure showed a rise in interest rate risk last month.

The action comes after Fannie Mae reported on Monday that its duration gap, the match between cash flows from its mortgage assets and debt liabilities, was minus 14 months.

The mismatch, well beyond the company's target of plus or minus six months, reflects record current levels of mortgage refinancing as homeowners take advantage of low interest rates to reduce the costs of their mortgages.

Fannie Mae's stock fell 2.4 percent in trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday. Demand for United States Treasury securities increased in anticipation that Fannie Mae would have to buy longer-dated federal debt to rebalance its accounts.

Fannie Mae's financial soundness regulator, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise, wrote to members of Congress late on Monday saying it considered the gap of minus 14months a matter of some concern and would take steps to decrease the risk measure.

"My attention will remain heightened over the next several months until the risk measure for portfolio sensitivity is returned to management's preferred operating range of plus or minus 6 months," the office's director, Armando Falcon, wrote to the subcommittee that oversees Fannie Mae and its mortgage finance cousin Freddie Mac.

Mr. Falcon said he would provide weekly status reports.


Debt liabilities: over 2X required time durations. Can someone smarter than I put this into perspective? Is this an indicator of bubbling-boiling over RE investing ('bubbling' the key word) or just more evidence of unbridled, completely out of control, US DEBT...

or both?

Post  42136  by  Tampathom       OT: But the question is, do YOU believe it?

Post  42137  by  pmcw       Reply
Decomp, A central problem with VSE is they don't allow one to buy stocks below a $2. In thinking back over my investing life, I've made most of my money when buying under $2. This includes my ALTR VC play and two major plays with XICO. On balance, had I not made the first two of these three plays I would probably still need to work today.

I don't know that HLIT will turn out as well as those past winners, but it is clearly a part of my buying strategy. If you know a way around this limitation, I'll play simply because I don't intend to trade much. (It will take minimal time without trading)

My confidence in what the market will do to certain sub-sectors during the next four months (withing two earnings reports) is because I've been doing my homework. I can't get anything directly from the companies, but that doesn't mean I can't talk to customers and distributers. I'll write about this and the resulting semi forecast later. Regards, pmcw

Post  42138  by  abveldeh       Reply
Tampathom I have asked this question for over a year and I have no opinion. All I know is people talk about the passengers of the three planes mourning them but I never heard of relatives of the Pentagon plane. And the pictures to me do not indicate a hit with a Boeing

Post  42139  by  pdowd       Reply
One of the high profile deaths in the pentagon crash was , I beleive his name is Ted Olson the famous Lawyer who represented the GOP at the Supreme court in the last presidential elections, anyway Mr. Olsons wife was killed in the crash. She was a famous conservative TV. journalist in her own right. I beleive her name was Barbara ? Sadly Mr. Olson had contact with her by cellphone minutes before the crash and after the high-jacking had taken place. PD.

Post  42140  by  jeffbas       Reply
pmcw, if you know what you are doing, it should be pretty obvious that the best opportunities at the end of any selloff are in those then low-priced stocks that because of market structure (margin calls, institutions can't own, Wall Street drops coverage, tax loss selling, etc) have had selling piled on top of them that may or may not have anything to do with company fundamentals. XICO was a great example in years past. ATML might be one now, although I am highly skeptical after looking at its cash versus debt maturities, losses and CAPEX.

Post  42141  by  pdowd       Reply
Coming soon to a ghetto near you !!!!!
My wife has been a special education teacher in the public school system in Louisiana for over 20 years. She has seen just about everything and is pretty much unflappable , that is till yesterday. An extremely emotionally disturbed SECOND grader actually STRANGELED TO DEATH a stray puppy AT SCHOOL with his bare hands in front of a few of his horrified classmates. He was immediately taken into custody by the police.
First of all this act is not impersonal like pointing a gun and pulling the trigger. This young boy, according to the kids actually smiled while he killed the puppy. Thank god this was just an animal and not another child ! My wife is really considering taking early retirement and teaching at a local parochial school.
What has to be done to a second grader in his life to make him that disturbed? I think that we not only should be worried about terror from abroad but from within as these terriblely abused kids grow up and start trying to raid our affluent gated communities . Peace PD.

Post  42142  by  pacemakernj       Reply
Roof, great posts this AM. More economic problems on the way. In the last two months I've seen the following increases:

Property Taxes on my house up 8%.

Electricity charges up 10%.

Auto Insurance up 10%

Healthcare insurance for me and my employees up 20.8%.

Throw in higher gas prices and is it any wonder the economy is slowing. This will have a negative effect on the consumer moving forward. Something to watch.


Post  42143  by  abveldeh       Reply
pdowd thank you for the reply but it does not explain the pictures (at least if they are not faked)

Post  42144  by  uponroof       Reply
pace: right again...consumer prices up .3%*
(*note: bogus gummint number to most likely be revised up)

WASHINGTON, Sept 18 (Reuters) - U.S. consumer prices posted a larger-than-expected gain in August, boosted by higher energy prices and an upturn in tobacco prices, the government said on Wednesday.

The Labor Department said the Consumer Price Index, the most widely watched gauge of retail inflation pressures, rose 0.3 percent in August, its biggest gain since April. The index was also up 0.3 percent excluding food and energy prices, which can vary sharply on a monthly basis.

While the gain was above Wall Street analysts' expectations, it was propelled by large increases in a few categories. Energy prices gained 0.6 percent, the biggest monthly advance since April. Tobacco prices rose 2.4 percent in the month, while clothing prices gained 1.1 percent, their biggest increase since March. Housing costs, which make up more than 40 percent of the CPI, also rose 0.3 percent..."

Post  42145  by  pmcw       Reply
pd, Being a good teacher is probably the hardest job in the world. It's not because it is inherently difficult to teach academics, but because the teachers are faced with kids so emotionally scared they .................

While working as volunteers in our local children's hospital we were alarmed to learn that 70% of the children in the burn ward were there as a result of abuse burnings. It seems that cigarettes are a popular potty training tool for some, but I wished it just stopped there.

One girl my wife frequently read to was burned so badly that it was impossible to tell her gender or race. Her nose and ear had literally been burned from her face.

It doesn't stop with fire. One day, when social workers were swamped, we were tasked with processing a family of children ranging from roughly six to an infant in diapers. They had just been removed from their home under allegations of being sexually abused. What are these kids to think of authority, adults or even each other as they grow older? All they know is cruelty and mistrust.

For some there is probably no answer, but for many others, one teacher can make a huge difference. One who I help by teaching a class on personal finance is a high school teacher who I've seen first hand make a tremendous difference. She could retire now, but continues to work part time. Her rare quality is simply that she has an infinite supply of love that does not need to be restocked with reciprocation. She is proof positive that a million angles can in fact dance on the head of a pin. How else could so many so many fit in her 100 pound 5' body.

I'm sure your wife will find the right answer for her, but if she teaches for another day or for the rest of her life it sounds as though she is a Saint walking among us. For those of us who had a special teacher, today would be a great day to send a short thank you.

Regards to you and yours, pmcw

Post  42146  by  pmcw       Reply
EMC Increased Market Share Lead in Q2
Newly Released Quarterly Data Shows EMC Outpaced Industry Growth in Networked Storage and External RAID Systems
Wednesday September 18, 10:04 am ET

HOPKINTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 18, 2002--EMC Corporation increased its lead as the world's #1 provider of networked disk storage systems during the second quarter of 2002, according to new quarterly market share data released today by research firm IDC. Compared with the first quarter of 2002, EMC widened its lead and grew faster than the overall market in storage area networks (SANs) and network-attached storage (NAS), the two fastest-growing segments of the disk storage systems market, and in the broader external RAID storage systems market.
In its new "Q2 2002 Worldwide Disk Storage Systems Tracker," IDC reported the following results for the second quarter:


The Open SAN market grew over 5% overall from the first quarter to the second quarter. EMC increased its lead as the #1 SAN supplier with 30.2% revenue share.


The NAS market grew 4.4% overall from the first quarter to the second quarter. EMC extended its lead as the #1 NAS supplier with 37.7% revenue share.

External RAID

The external RAID market grew 2.6% overall from the first quarter to the second quarter. EMC extended its lead as the #1 external RAID supplier with 21.8% revenue share.

pmcw note: At the same time IBM increased its lead in storage services. This is an different category from selling storage systems or software to control systems. Clearly, IBM's focus is service and it's impossible to say how that will impact the resale markets. However, today it is equally clear that all of the above markets are growing (at least they did from Q1 to Q2) for now.

Regards, pmcw

PS: Sorry I forgot to mark the previous post OT - kind of an emotional subject for me.

Post  42147  by  garhart       Reply
abveldeh, you have email.

Post  42148  by  Decomposed       Reply

Like your wife, my sister-in-law is an elementary school teacher. Years ago, she had a second grader named "Brian" who was an endless source of problems. I've forgotten most of the early stories, but something happened EVERY day, each episode more bizarre than the last. One incident involved emptying a bottle of Elmer's glue into his own nose. Another: Sculpting his own feces.

Brian's affluent parents didn't seem to care. Or, rather, they had enough similar behavior at home to be particularly sympathetic with what my sister-in-law was going through. They were just happy to have him in school (and outof their hair) for a few hours a day.

That ended one day when, like your wife's second-grader, Brian strangled a cat, at school, with his bare hands. Police weren't called, but Brian was expelled at the tender young age of 8.

That was years ago. Brian must now be an adult. Scary.

Post  42149  by  Decomposed       ot: Pentagon Crash

Post  42150  by  Briguy       Reply
Back in town...

Got back last nite from Orlando...good time...went to Epcot, MGM Studios, Animal Kingdom...missed out on Magic Kingdom...been there, done that.

Anyone own Disney stock? If so, or if not, anyone have an opinion on it? Stock is starting to approach cheap levels, yes?

Made some purchases this morning...

HLIT...bought a small lot of shares

ATMI...bought a small lot of shares at $14.52

SANM...bought in again at $2.86- will probably go lower

AXTI...bought a couple hundred shares at $3.70

ORCL...went short

JPM...went short

BBY...sold for a very nice profit (long from $20.32), out at $24.73...will go long again if it gets near $20 again.

XOM...adding more to my position here!

Post  42151  by  spirare       Reply
GOLD Last trade $320.4/oz Change + $1.6 (+0.50%)

***Yet precious metals prices are still a bargain considering the fear of the unknown as far as
world events and extremely volatile equities markets are concerned.***


TA LT higher highs and higher lows
4 Strong Bull waves to go*^*^*^*^

TA ST the last 5th small correction bearwave
soon complete.

Bull Wave Breakout to follow*^*^*^*^*^

Dollar Index Cash (NYBOT:DXY0)
TA LT lower highs and lower lows...
3 bear waves left...

TA ST small 5th bull wave correction
soon complete, followed by
continuation of the LT bear waves...

Current Price of Gold
(Voluntary Disclosure: Position- Long; ST Rating- Strong Buy; LT Rating- Strong Buy)

Post  42152  by  Briguy       Reply

JPM...covered my short

You regulars will know I've been heavily shorting JPM for quite some time. This bank is in BIG TIME trouble, yet the elite media and bubble heads on CNBC never talk about it. The fact is, JPM is a nuclear bomb waiting to go off. STAY FAR AWAY FROM THIS ONE...and short any rallies.

Post  42153  by  Decomposed       Reply
re: HSY off nearly 10 pts

“This is good news for shareholders,”... Yeah, right.

Hershey Trust won’t sell candymaker

Board members decide against selling after controversial auction


HERSHEY, Pa., Sept. 18 — Hershey Trust, the charity board that controls Hershey Foods Corp., said it visited two bids it received for the candymaker, but ultimately pulled the company off the auction block, apparently bowing to pressure from local residents and politicians.

“THE TRUST board has rejected all the bids that it received,” Hershey Trust Co. spokesman Rick Kelly said late Tuesday, reading a statement from board members. “It is asking the company to end the process of exploring the sale.”

Hershey Foods, the nation’s largest chocolate and confectionary maker, had been expected by industry analysts to receive bids as high as $15 billion from food giants such as Kraft Foods and Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. Experts said the board’s decision not to sell was likely influenced by the intense local opposition.

“They ran into so much turmoil,” said Samuel Weaver, professor of finance at Lehigh University and former director of financial planning and analysis at Hershey Foods.

Even so, the board had been close to selling the company for $12.5 billion to Wrigley before changing its mind, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the situation.

Kelly confirmed that Wrigley was a bidder for Hershey, but he would not provide more details on the matter.

On Wednesday, Wrigley said a union with Hershey would have been a “unique strategic fit”, and expressed dissapointment with the chocolate maker’s decision.

The Journal said the Hershey board was planning to meet on Wednesday to accept the cash and stock offer, which was far higher than most investors had expected. The newspaper also said Wrigley had agreed to rename itself Wrigley Hershey and keep local Hershey factories open.

For weeks the trust had been under fire from Pennsylvania officials concerned about the social and economic impact of any sale.

“I said at one point that it was the soul of this community and I for one am pleased that Hershey has taken another look at this,” August Memmi, a local political leader, said early Wednesday morning.

The $5.9 billion trust, which controls 77 percent of the company’s shareholder votes and 31 percent of its common stock, announced July 25 that it had ordered Hershey Foods executives to seek bids on its stake.

The trust, whose sole beneficiary is the Milton Hershey School for disadvantaged children, said it was looking to protect its investments. More than half the trust’s assets are invested in the stock, and board members say the trust could be hurt if the company’s finances falter.

The potential sale, however, had sparked protests from the public and politicians, who said the interests of the community would be pushed aside in any sale. Critics said a sale would trigger plant closings and layoffs, eventually if not immediately.

In Hershey, residents have circulated petitions, staged rallies, and posted signs on front lawns to dissuade the trustees, most of whom do not live locally, from selling the company.

News of the possible sale had surprised some analysts, who thought Hershey’s profitability and its close relationship with the town, the trust and the school made it untouchable.

Indeed, a state judge granted an injunction on a sale, pending a Hershey Trust appeal. State Attorney General Mike Fisher had petitioned the judge to require the trust to seek court approval before it could sell the candy maker.

“I was expecting them to use the hold up in the courts as the excuse as to why they were going to bow out of the sale,” said Weaver, the former Hershey executive.

“I would really like to know all the back room stuff that was going on,” he added.

Chocolate magnate Milton S. Hershey created the Hershey Chocolate Co. in 1894 as a subsidiary of his Lancaster Caramel Co. He later sold the caramel operation and began making chocolate in 1905 in what is now known as Hershey in the Chocolate Avenue plant that still stands today.

Many retirees and current employees live in the central Pennsylvania town of about 13,000, which is dominated by the buildings Hershey erected, including a hotel, an amusement park, botanic gardens and a theater.

The company is the maker of popular chocolate products such as Hershey’s Kisses, the Hershey Chocolate bar and various Reese’s products, and had revenue of $4.6 billion last year.


In Zurich, Nestle’s were last trading up one percent at 316 Swiss francs, outperforming Swiss stocks and European sector rivals.

“This is good news for shareholders,” said Daniel Buerki, analyst with Bank Leu, pointing to the big price tag for Hershey as well as local opposition, which could have made integration difficult.

But the decision leaves question marks over Nestle’s U.S. confectionery market strategy. The company wants to be number one, or a strong second, in all of its markets and buying Hershey would have propelled it to the top U.S. spot.

Rating agencies have grown increasingly nervous after Nestle gobbled up a number of acquistions in the fast-consolidating food sector and said its top credit rating — allowing it to borrow more cheaply than lower-rated rivals — was under threat in the event of a Hershey acquisition.

“There were fears that Nestle would lose its triple A rating and that is now not the case” with Hershey off the market, said Claude Zehnder, market analyst with Zuercher Kantonalbank.


The decision also casts a new spotlight on drugs group Pfizer’s auction for its Adams unit, a major player in the chewing gum market, which is expected to fetch some $4 billion. The Adams sale took a back burner as the larger, flashier Hershey deal grabbed buyer and investor attention.

Britain’s Cadbury Schweppes, which had been looking to acquire some Hershey assets sold off in any Nestle acquisition, is viewed to be interested in Adams.

However, Swiss industry sources reiterated that chewing gum was of little strategic interest for Nestle.

Hershey now has the U.S. licence for Nestle chocolate bar KitKat. The licence would have reverted to Nestle in the event of a change of ownership at Hershey, but with the sale scrapped Nestle was now left empty handed.

“Nestle could still negotiate just for the licence although that could be expensive,” said Leu’s Buerki.

Nestle inherited both KitKat and the licensing deal with Hershey when it bought British confectioner Rowntree in 1988. KitKat’s U.S. sales are seen around $300 million annually.

“There is nothing we can do to keep people from speculating,” Nestle spokesman Francois Perroud said. “We will just have to see how the situation develops,” he added.

The maker of Nescafe coffee, Friskies pet food and Perrier mineral water had previously said that 2002 would be a year of consolidation after it bought U.S. pet food producer Ralston Purina for $10 billion at the end of last year.

Post  42154  by  pacemakernj       Reply
Roof, one other thing to watch. The coming collapse of the hedge fund market. I would guess sometime in the near future you will begin to hear that many hedge funds will be closing up. They simply cannot get the returns they were hoping for as many investors begin the withdrawal their money. This will result in the loss of billions of dollars.


Post  42155  by  abveldeh       Reply
Decomposed I suppose the Boeing has two engines. The initial hole in the building is too small so the engines must have hit the walls beside the hole. There is no damage to the walls so the engines dropped on the grass. These engines do not desintegrate. At the WTC some were found blocks away and from the Pennsylvania planecrash you find them even 10 yards into the ground and scattered over hundreds of acres. Also when you read further the exithole with a diameter of a few yards is supposed to be of the nose of the aircraft which is BS. Just investigating.

Post  42156  by  jeffbas       Reply
Decomposed, he was referring to Nestle shareholders, and was right.

Post  42157  by  wilful10       OT: Tampathom - Never thought I'd say this to you,

Post  42158  by  wilful10       Reply
Decomp - Don't waste your time with this jerk

(Abvelda); he has his own agenda - and it has absolutely nothing do do with the interests of the U.S.

Even Tampa could not accept his(no plane crash) most recent "BS".


Post  42159  by  danking_70       Reply

I don't have the footage (maybe somewhere on CNN, MSNBC, etc.) but it is out there.

It was taken from a parking lot entrance/exit booth that showed the Plane hitting the Pentagon.


Post  42160  by  jeffbas       Reply
danking, read what wilful said. That footage was obviously faked :-) :-)

Post  42161  by  uponroof       Reply
Roger Bentley Arnold

General Comments

The 10 year treasury is yielding 3.83%. The FED will lower rates this year even further. The FED will lower to 1% before year end, in my opinion. The ECB will have to lower as well. The only reason they haven't yet appears to be because of the German elections. They will soon. There is a large mismatch between the US at 1.75% and the ECB at 3.25%.


I spent most of the night monitoring the overseas markets reaction to JP Morgan and Fannie Mae. It was not good. Unfortunately my power went out and what was going to be a review of JPM and derivatives risk here was wiped out. Aint it always the case. But, most of what I had written is contained in the archivesof the past year of DO's at

You'll have to search through but you'll find good information there. This is not a shock to anyone who has been listening to me for awhile anyway. We spent a lot of time last year outlining the risk at JPM and FNM. Now it's being realized.

To make sure you understand the ramifications: JPM and FNM may become insolvent soon. JPM would probably fall below reserve requirements before FNM but they may both be going under. They are linked as JPM is the largest single lender to FNM. They both have enormous derivatives exposure. They both indicate negative news for the financial companies overall.

In 1998 LTCM posted a trillion dollars in losses on paper following a mishedging against interest rates. LTCM is dwarfed by the rate derivatives exposure at JPM and FNM. A loss of this magnitude would wipe out the asset base of both companies.

The contingent liabilities at JPM would probably be the beginning of the cascading default if it occurs. Remember Enron. The contingent liabilities at Enron caused loan calls when the stock dropped 50%. This clause, as an automatic risk mitigation strategy to protect counterparties has become very popular in the last few years. JPM is now 50% down in the last year. I don't know how large the exposure is but William Harrison better start talking and soon, otherwise the route out by shareholders WILL collapse the company.

Real Estate Bubble

Post  42162  by  pdowd       Reply
First of all glad to hear that you had fun on your Disney vacation. My following comments are on Disney the company not the stock.
I have 2 teenagers aged 15 & 19, we have been to Disney World seven times , in the summer of 1996 we even went twice in early June and again in late July.
We went to Disney Land this summer 8/02 to be exact , for the second time.
My kids had been bugging me for months that they needed a "Disney Fix " so since we were in Beverly Hills and Santa Catalina Island for twelve days we swung over to Annahiem.
First of all the weather was gourgeous for us from South Louisiana----cloudless sunny skys ,low humidity, temp in high 60's in August for crying out loud. Perfect theme park weather. We hit the gates at Disney Land at 9:35 A.M. There was eerily hardly anybody there !
We just walked on to the Pirates of the Carribean, The Haunted Mansion, and probably the best ride in all theme parks-- Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom Ride.
We hadn't been to any Disney property since Summer of 1998 in Orlando. I was shocked to see my teenagers yawning while waiting to go on Big Thunder Rail Road. What was happening? Even my wife who was the biggest Disney fanatic of all time had a glassy eyed look. "Dad I think we have finally done Disney to death " ,I couldn't believe my ears as my youngest child spoke.
As anyone knows whos has been to both parks the Magic Kingdom rides at Disney Land are far superior to Disney Worlds. I mean how many times can you ride Space Ship Earth or the Norwegian pavillion ride at Epcot and not get a little too familiar with it ?
Our trip to Universal Studios Hollywood was equally underwhelming. We went to see Austin Powers on a Friday night at Universal and I swear we were the only Anglos in the Park. I could have sworn we were in Mexico City instead of Burbank.
We were planning a trip to Orlando for Summer 2003 but instead, on my kids insistance we are going to Lake Powell and white water rafting on the upper Colorado River. In short My teenagers want to do something "REAL" and are totally burnt out on Disney and Universal. They also like nothing on ABC, but love Fox and WB, So in my teenagers eyes they get very little out of Disney the company as they had way more fun on Catalina Island and Melrose Avenue than they did at the "Happiest Place on Earth" and it looks like other people where as well judging from the sparse crowds on a beautifull day in August. later PD.

Post  42163  by  danking_70       OT: Abveldeh re footage

Post  42164  by  jeffbas       Reply
uponroof, as I have noted before, I believe that this talk of a RE bubble is phony. If you adjust these increases in median house prices for the drop in interest rates you would see nothing but minus signs. The median mortgage payment for a house has to have been dropping, and a house more affordable, not less. That is why the housing market has remained strong. Furthermore, mortgage rates will continue dropping, reinforcing demand, unless the economy gets strong. If it does get strong, interest rates will rise and housing demand and prices will be hurt - which will be more than made up for by the strength that caused rates to rise.

I do think that prices for high end houses may tail off because those buyers are not average folks, and things like the stock market have more impact there.

Post  42165  by  abveldeh       Reply
danking_70 the footage link does not work but I am convinced anyway by an other poster.thanks By: mld_38 $$$$$
18 Sep 2002, 12:55 PM EDT Msg. 80412 of 80413

"Hunt the Boeing" and "Meyssan Theory" refuted:

Books by Thierry Meyssan
"911 The Big Lie" Publisher: Unknown and "Pentagate" Publisher: USA Books

Independent Flight 77 - Pentagon Event Investigation
The September 11th Tragedy at the Pentagon
Photos of building damage with commentary:
For example:
..."Hunt the Boeing errs in assuming that structural damage was limited to only the outer E-ring. The above photo only shows the top two stories and does not reveal the devastation wrecked in the lower two stories. The following photo, taken on September 21st, after the collapsed rubble was hauled away, shows the damage to the D-ring. Although structural pillars were still standing, it is clear that floors one and two were otherwise obliterated. And these structural pillars were so weakened by the event that they needed to be reinforced, as is evident in the picture."...
Photos and commentary of debris:
Eyewitness accounts along with pictures:
Starts off:
..."attack took place in view of many witnesses, many of whom distinctly noticed that the plane was an American Airlines aircraft. An excellent list prepared by Ron Harvey collates the various eyewitness reports found on the web. Donald "Tim" Timmerman, a Navy pilot and photographer, is positive the plane was an American Airlines 757, Chris Munsey (a Navy Times reporter) clearly made out of red-and-blue AA markings, John O'Keefe (a magazine editor) said he "immediately recognized it as an American Airlines jet," Joel Sucherman (an editor for noticed it was a silver jet, Mike Walter (USAToday reporter) recognized it as "an American Airlines jet," Steve Riskus (a commutor) "clearly saw the 'AA' logo with the eagle in the middle," and Afework Hagos (computer programmer) claims to have recognized the "American Airline insignia." On Sept. 17th, Arlington PD released a recording of police dispatches responding to the explosion and one officer reported immediately after the crash, "Motor 14, it was an American Airlines plane, uh, headed eastbound over the Pike, possibly toward the Pentagon."....

Animated view of flight paths on Sept. 11, 2001:

Pentagon victims:
American Airlines Flight 77 victims:

September 12, 2001 : "Wife of Solicitor General alerted him of hijacking from plane"
NOTE: Barbara Olson was on the American Airlines Flight 77 plane that crashed in the Pentagon. Wrote a book titled, "The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House"

The article starts off:
"Barbara Olson, a conservative commentator and attorney, alerted her husband, Solicitor General Ted Olson, that the plane she was on was being hijacked Tuesday morning, Ted Olson told CNN. A short time later the plane crashed into the Pentagon. Barbara Olson is presumed to have died in the crash. Her husband said she called him twice on a cell phone from American Airlines Flight 77, which was en route from Washington Dulles International Airport to Los Angeles.

Ted Olson told CNN that his wife said all passengers and flight personnel, including the pilots, were herded to the back of the plane by armed hijackers. The only weapons she mentioned were knives and cardboard cutters. She felt nobody was in charge and asked her husband to tell the pilot what to do. Ted Olson notified the Justice Department command center immediately.

He told CNN that his wife had originally been booked on a flight Monday, but delayed her departure because Tuesday was his birthday and she wanted to be with him in the morning."....

Post  42166  by  abveldeh       Reply
danking_70 i mean the link given by mld_38 $$$$$> so much for conspiracy. EOM

Post  42167  by  danking_70       OT: Public Supports Bush Positions on U.N. Involve

Post  42168  by  abveldeh       Reply
Bad Times, Good Money

The Daily Reckoning

Paris, France

Wednesday, 18 September 2002

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

*** Net worth declining...Debt increasing...
Doesn't borrowing make you richer?

*** Fannie and Freddie may have cracked...delinquencies
at 20-year high...

*** Morgan takes a hit...offshore accounts...Saddam's
reply...overpriced houses...and more!

"Stocks sink Americans' net worth," says a USA TODAY

Figures from the 2nd quarter show household net worth
down by 3.4%.

The other headline that caught our eye was this one from

"Fed says debt climbing at fastest rate in a decade."

From the article we learn that non-financial debt has
been increasing at a 7.8% annual rate.

"Behind the scenes, the Fed is working feverishly to
keep the music from stopping," writes Randall Forsyth in
Barron's. "Greenspan & Co. have their monetary pedal to
the metal again."

It used to be axiomatic that borrowing boosted the
economy. It increased sales and business investment. For
each additional $1.40 borrowed, according to Dr.
Richebacher, you got about $1 of GDP growth. But lately
something has gone wrong. In the period 1997-2001, it
took $2.60 of extra debt to produce another dollar of
GDP. And more recently, the figure has been more like

Why so little growth for so much debt?

There has been "a major change in the use of credit in
the United States," writes Richebacher. Can you guess
what that change is, dear reader? Instead of borrowing
for investment and growth, people are now borrowing just
to keep up appearances. Take out a bigger mortgage and
buy a big screen TV that came all the way from China...
or one of those SUVs that they make in Detroit. People
have been encouraged to consume...but not to produce.

Without the increase in auto sales the economy would be
in recession. But is Detroit booming? What automaker is
going to hire people or build another assembly line when
he can only sell his cars by offering zero percent
financing and cutting his price margins?

And what about refinancing your mortgage? Why not?
Mortgage rates - after tax - are lower than the annual
growth in house prices. You get cash to spend...but how
is anyone richer as a result? You owe more money, but do
you have any better way to pay it back?

According to an undersecretary of the Treasury, the
increase in debt is no problem, because debt levels as a
percentage of net worth are not as high as they used to
be. But if your house doubles in price, are the mortgage
payments easier to make? It is earnings, salaries, and
dividend yields that really count. You can't live off
paper profits.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may have finally cracked
yesterday; their stocks fell 4.73% and 3.26%
respectively after it was revealed that Fannie's
'duration gap' slipped to negative 14 months. From the
press reports, we could not quite figure out what a
'duration gap' is, but it must be a bad thing.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that
delinquencies are at a 20-year high. Greg Weldon says
the number of foreclosures is the highest in 30 years.
Fannie Mae can buy all the mortgages it wants; if people
can't make their payments, Fannie gets knocked on her

The big decline in Americans' net worth is still ahead,
we think. It will happen at about the same time Fannie
Mae and Freddie Mac hit major new lows - when the real
estate bubble finally finds its pin. Then, the music
stops...Americans will stop borrowing...and stop
spending too.

And now a report from our Wall Street reporter who,
today, is far from the canyons of Manhattan...


Eric Fry at the Supper Club meeting in Colorado...

- Even from way out here in Colorado Springs, the action
on Wall Street yesterday looked pretty horrible. The Dow
tumbled another 172 points to 8,207, while the Nasdaq
fell 16 to 1,260. Even worse, the misery did not end
with the ringing of the closing bell. After the close of
trading two major bellwether stocks - J.P. Morgan Chase
and Oracle - both warned of disappointing earnings. Both
stocks dropped more than 7% in after-hours trading.

- Morgan's warning was nothing short of disastrous. The
banking giant said third-quarter earnings would be well
below analyst expectations due to weak trading profits
and to write-offs of commercial loans to troubled
telecom and cable firms. Adding insult to injury,
Standard & Poor's and Fitch both slashed the bank's
credit rating yesterday afternoon.

- Bad news for the stock market was great news for the
bond market. Treasury bonds soared, driving the yield on
the 10-year Treasury note down to 3.85% from 3.90% late
Monday. Apparently, investors are fleeing stocks in
favor of any investment that promises a plus sign.

- Oracle's profit-shortfall announcement is but the
latest indication that life in Silicon Valley isn't as
rosy as it used to be. The bubble years are dead and
gone, and many a valley resident will miss them.

- Tim Lucier is a former comptroller for tech companies
in Silicon Valley who now drives a taxi for a living,
and he has some very interesting things to say about the
bubble years in Silicon Valley. (Thanks to my mother-in-
law [a faithful DR reader and better off for it!] for
bringing this story to my attention.)

- "Lucier's switch from Silicon Valley powerhouse to San
Francisco cab driver is merely an extreme example of a
trend that has been playing itself out in the Bay Area
for the past few years," the San Francisco Chronicle
reports, "an industry wide shakeout that followed the
popping of the Internet bubble.

"But Lucier's situation is a bit more interesting than
most, because this is a guy who looked after the
accounting for a series of valley companies at a time
when tech firms were accountable to virtually no one.
The picture he paints of those days is not pretty."

- "It was a new age," Lucier tells the Chronicle. "There
were no rules. You made them up as you went along...
Making things look good for just two years. That's what
the valley was all about."

- Financial chicanery was especially prevalent amongst
the valley's corporate management. "The CEOs had a lot
of money coming in from VC companies," Lucier said.
"They didn't know what to do with it so they moved a lot
of it offshore. The VCs never knew...It was a given that
this kind of thing was going on."

- Lucier claims that senior execs at one particular
software company asked him routinely to siphon off $10
million a week and transfer the money to offshore
corporate accounts. "After the money was in those
accounts, anything could have happened to it," Lucier

- If Lucier is to be believed - and we have no reason to
doubt him - there may be a silver lining for our
economy. Up to this point we had assumed that all the
money investors had lavished upon and had been frittered away on things like
sock-puppet commercials. If, however, it turns out that
some of this money has been squirreled away in offshore
bank accounts, maybe our national savings rate is higher
than reported. And maybe our economy is just a wee bit
stronger than we thought...(Hey, a man can dream can't

- Still, for every former executive who
embezzled millions, thousands of folks lost everything
as the bubble collapsed. Thousands lost their jobs as
well as their savings.

- The tell-tale signs of a boom gone bust are visible up
and down the Silicon Valley, according to "Eric B.," a
recent contributor to the Daily Reckoning discussion
board. In his post entitled, "My Silicon Valley
Commute," Eric B. writes, "Every morning I drive about
16 miles to get to work. I have to go across a toll
bridge and this used to be an extreme bottle neck. My
commute was in excess of one hour's time in the AM and
45 minutes in the PM. I now sleep in much later and
enjoy a commute of around 20 minutes to work. My
brother-in-law was a top sales executive during the hey-
day of the "Dot Com" era, he has been living off his
severance package and investments for 1 1/2 years now
waiting for the return of this market segment (a classic
case of denial!) 50 to 60% of the parking lots of
Silicon Valley corporate campuses are empty..."

- Oh well, easy come, easy go.

[Editor's note: Want to make your opinions count? Visit
the Daily Reckoning discussion board: The Daily
Reckoning Discussion Board]


Back in Paris...

*** USA Today gives us the "contenders for the most
overpriced real estate market in the U.S.A." - Tacoma,
Wash., Naples, FL, Boston, Denver and San Diego. If you
have property in those markets and are thinking about
selling, too soon might be better than too late.

*** Markets tend to peak on Sept. 22 more than any other
day, says Paul Macrae Montgomery, who studies "non-
rational" relationships between markets and other
phenomena. After the September highs come the familiar
October drops...such as those in 1978, 1979, 1987, and
1989. October was also the month of the Asian crisis
(1997) and the month the geniuses failed at Long Term
Capital Management (1998). It was also the month that
the market crashed in '29.

*** Mutual funds have less cash in their portfolios than
they had a few months ago, said Michael O'Higgins to
Barron's. And mutual fund investors are very near to
losing real money - their savings. Their stock market
gains are already gone, he points out. The celebrated
fund manager believes fund investors could panic soon -
if the market drops further. If so, the funds will be
forced to liquidate their positions. Who knows, maybe
this October will be the month that the panic we've been
waiting for finally comes?

By Bill Bonner

It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is
healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken
and the wisest might err.

- Mahatma Gandhi

Today, we will not pick on the Fed chairman. We promise.
Cross our hearts and hope to die.

We are moving on. The chairman will get whatever the
Fates have prepared for him. God help him.

But the evil that men do lives after them. As the Caesar
of central banking continues towards his reward, the
world's financial system lunkers on too - towards

"For the first time since WWII, the world is in the
grips of a synchronized global economic downturn,"
writes Dr. Kurt Richebacher. "We are looking for
financial turmoil in the United States of a gravity
without precedence in the whole postwar period."

Greenspan spent the last 16 years puffing up not only
his own reputation, but also the biggest credit bubble

Not that we have any special information on the subject,
but we take it for granted that what inflates is also
subject to deflation. Central banking in the time of
Greenspan became such a popular sensation that it seemed
to many that it was a permanent success. The Greenspan
Fed had increased the supply of credit more than all the
Fed chiefs and Treasury secretaries back to the time of
Washington. Nobody complained, as the 'inflation' went
directly into stock prices. It began to look as though
the science of central banking had been mastered, and
the business cycle had been brought to heel too. For,
had not Greenspan proven that he could increase credit
without triggering inflation? And didn't that give him
the ability to head off a recession by cutting rates

But nothing fails like success. Or, as economy Hyman
Minsky pointed out, nothing can be more de-stabilizing
for an economy than a long run of macro-economic

American entrepreneurial capitalism, combined with
enlightened Greenspan central banking, seem to have
taken the risk out of stocks and paper money. The Fed
seemed capable of managing both for the benefit of long-
term investors. Is it any wonder they bought and
borrowed when it made sense - in the '80s - and
continued to buy when it didn't - in the '90s?

Both the credit bubble and Mr. Greenspan's own bubble
reached their zenith about a year ago, by our reckoning.
Both now seem to be losing gas.

We noted on Monday that gold hit its lowest point since
the early '70s about the very same time that Mr.
Greenspan's stock seemed to peak out, with the
appearance of the Bob Woodward book, "Maestro" in
November of 2000.

Mr. Greenspan had become the biggest news story in the
entire world. Sure, there were probably a few primitives
in fishing villages in the New Hebrides who had never
heard of the man. But to the world's intelligentsia
economica, the chairman of the Federal Reserve system
was 'household,' as well known as Ronald McDonald, Cher
or Jim Beam.

On the day the book came out, you could have bought an
ounce of gold for $264. But it would have cost you
$11,152 to buy the whole Dow. That was a big change from
the late '70s. Then, the Dow and an ounce of gold
changed hands for about the same price.

But since the book "Maestro" appeared, the Maestro
himself has been in a bear market. More and more often
you see him criticized in the press. Unlike Kozlowski
and Blodget, he has not been blamed for stock market
losses - yet. But the longer the slump continues...and
the closer the U.S. economy edges towards deflation...
and the more stock prices fall...the more people will
wonder about the curious bubble the Fed chairman

Mr. Greenspan's stock does not trade publicly and is not
quoted on any exchange. But Daily Reckoning readers may
still profit as it goes down. Gold is the nemesis of
managed currencies. It is what investors turn towards
when they lose faith in the managers. Since the
appearance of "Maestro," the price of gold has risen
20%. The Dow has fallen nearly 30%. These are trends we
expect to continue at least until Mr. Greenspan's
reputation is fully corrected.

"Gold is heading for $1,000," writes my old friend
Martin Spring. Over the last 12 months gold has risen
15% against the dollar. Gold mining stocks, after taking
a beating this past summer, are back up about 40% since

"In recent years," Martin continues, "there's been an
almost-perfect negative correlation between US shares
and the gold price...which means that if Wall Street
continues to fall, it's almost certain bullion will

Martin notes that global demand is currently exceeding
mine and recycling production by about 400 tons a year.
So little money was spent on new exploration and mine
development in the last decade, production will probably
fall further, until the price of gold hits $400 - $500
an ounce, high enough to encourage additional

But why would gold go up in a general price deflation?

"Gold can also prove to be a good defensive investment
in deflationary times, as it was in the '30s," Martin
explains. "Over the past three years the bullion price
has risen 23% despite a fall in inflation both actual
and anticipated by the markets (as shown by the
declining differential between the yields of fixed and
inflation-protected government bonds.)"

Gold is real money, after all. It is decent money when
Fed chiefs prosper. It is even better when they don't.

Your correspondent,

Bill Bonner

Post  42169  by  Warstud       Reply
Celestica lowers Q3 gudiance (CLS) 18.81: Contract manufacturer cuts Q3 outlook to $0.18-$0.22 from previous range of $0.26-$0.33; puts revs at $1.9-$2.0 bln vs previous guidance of $2.1-$2.4 bln. The Multex consensus est for Q3 is $0.28 and $2.217 bln. "The revised guidance reflects recent reductions from a few of our largest customers."

Post  42170  by  tinljhtkh       OT: I'm a few posts back! However,
Post  42171  by  tinljhtkh       OT: Barbara Olson
Post  42172  by  Decomposed       ot: Nestles
Post  42173  by  tinljhtkh       OT: This post notated for later response!
Post  42174  by  clo       OT: Tin, with all due respect, her plane hit the P

Post  42175  by  tinljhtkh       Reply

Disney has a lot of problems! They are a fixed target in a landscape full of change!

Places like Disney World depend on repeat traffic and my understanding is that its just not there anymore! They have not updated so many of their attractions that they are just not relevant to repeaters anymore. Disney is also designed, by its very huge acreage, for families to either hug together or split up and go their own way! Too many people remember those long lines from prior years!

Eisner has been out of touch for a very long time and the problem is that he does not really value the executive talent, or lack of it, that exists under him! He has run off more good people that most corporations ever even get to see! He is also an empire builder who insists on keeping his finger on things, even if it to his disadvantage. Example, he moved the center of ABC out to California and away from its natural environment in New York City. He did this so that the "team" would have better access to him instead of their natural competitive world!

You need to remember that up until the Dis price began to fall as its weaknesses were exposed after September 11th, it had the richest P/E at around 133 of the entire S and P 500! People buy a P/E ratio that high for reasons other than earnings and Disney simply hasn't lived up to them in the wake of September 11, when they should have really come into their own!

Eisner once made the remark that his corporation was too big to be affected by any single event--bad or good! Why he is building another theme park beside Disneyland with the theme of California is anyones guess! He did stay out of the Internet portal business, and even folded his website last year as its profits sagged! The Disney approach has always been to own the content that travels down the Internet highway rather than the road itself. And boy do they own the content! One of Dis's problems has been the prevelent piracy that faces the whole entertainment industry as we speak! Check Sundays Doonesbury for the best single statement on that predicament and see if you can find which Red Lobster that Jimmy Thudpucker is waiting tables at so you can get his autograph!

The Disney executives mismanaged the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire phenomenon a couple of years ago, over exposing it in order to goose ABC's lagging profits. It worked for a quarter or two but they didn't use the time profitably to develop anything long-term! Now they are micromanaging their current hope--8 reasons why you want to date my daughter, or whatever it is called in hopes of creating another short term fix for their problems! While we're at ABC, you might remember how they tried to dump Ted Koppel earlier this year when they thought that they had a chance to get David Letterman because of a clerical error on his contract over at CBS! Letterman had enough class, and sense, to pass on the offer! My opinion is as long as Eisner is in charge anyone else should do the same with the stock! Disney's biggest problem is that they can't think of anyone any better to manage the company than him! Independent board members have been caught getting their kids jobs at Disney! The board is a rubber stamp for whatever he wants to do and they have to occassionally come up with large amounts of money to meet margin calls for some of those who helped put Eisner in power in the first place! Of course, when they do this, they pay back those who helped so very long ago by getting the cheapest price for their large blocks of stock that they can possible negotiate! What Eisner's own executive package looks like is something that I would not want to contemplate seeing!

I suppose in Eisner's and Disney's defense, they do regard themselves as the last bastion of the traditonal way of life so prized by so many of us who grew up back in the 50's and 60's! However, the boycott that they continue to face from the Christian right over certain corporate decisions deprives them of a great base that could help to pull them out of the hole that they find themselves in! Some of their problems are economically unavoidable but so many of them certainly are not!




PS--I follow Disney because it is on my "A" portfolio stock watch list! I hope this helps!

Post  42176  by  tinljhtkh       OT: My error, I apologize! It all gets kind of con

Post  42177  by  pmcw       Reply
ab, I'm not sure where these folks are getting their data or if they're even focused on the right issues. Let's just take a look at one item. They say what the Fed classifies as total nonfinancial debt is growing at a rate of 7.6% per year. The last release I saw on the Fed site shows significantly less and one must remember, this includes all marketable and non-marketable debt. These two classifications when taken together were growing even when the government was running at a cash surplus and are now growing more rapidly with the government running at a deficit. BTW, the total nonfinancial debt (includes state and Fed debt) is just under $20T according to the most recent figures I've seen published by the Fed.

Possibly a more telling figure is what is called The Total Consumer Credit Outstanding. After all, isn't consumer credit what they really care about? It should be since corporate debt is actually shrinking. The following is some data for you to evaluate. It shows annualized growth in 2002 at 5.8%. This indicates the rate of growth has slowed since the last six months of 2001. Still a bit high for my tastes, but due to lower interest rates, a smaller bite of the monthly check than it has been in the past. The Data:

Total Consumer Credit Outstanding
Seasonally Adjusted
Billions of Dollars
Source: G.19 Release -- Federal Reserve Board of Governors


2001.07 1620.8
2001.08 1624.7
2001.09 1631.0
2001.10 1643.4
2001.11 1664.1
2001.12 1667.9
2002.01 1673.3
2002.02 1679.8
2002.03 1687.9
2002.04 1695.7
2002.05 1704.5
2002.06 1713.4
2002.07 1724.2

When I consider your readiness to believe the truck bomb rumor I have to question your judgment when providing financial data that appears to be misleading. If you really want to find some real data go to the home page for the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank and start crunching some numbers rather than spending your time listening to others.

Regards, pmcw

Post  42178  by  jensad       Reply
Hi uponroof

I think when, not if jpm goes down, it will be pretty scary in the markets. I recalla major car company I believe it was Chrysler got bailed out by our Uncle Sam. I do not see it happening here, but then, I'm just an old online investor.

I also think that gold is still consolodating but as yuo and others have said, and I believe too, is that gold will be much higher by the end of the year.

Its scary out there folks. Please take care.

Good luck to all.


Post  42179  by  tinljhtkh       OT: I have tried to stay away from the individual
Post  42180  by  clo       OT: My dear Tin! I believe she departed from NY, t

Post  42181  by  wilful10       Reply
Tin - Re DIS:

With some dismay, I read PDowd's (or was it Briguy's) report on his family visits to the Disney parks. This is not good! I recall from long ago Warren Buffet commenting on his large American Express buys - predicated partly upon his going out to restaurants, shops, and stores - and seeing plenty of folks using the A.E. card. Here, now - we have the opposite scenario. Anecdotal, yet pertinent.

My bride has me buy DIS from time to time,, "to set aside" for the grandchildren. Perhaps this set aside won't amount to much. :-(

I'm not aware of another [Why he is building another theme park beside Disneyland with the theme of California is anyones guess!] theme park presently underway, but Disney did complete its California Adventure project a year or two ago,, and it is located right next to Disneyland. Is it that to which you refer? My #3 boy is something of an afficionado of amusement parks,, and has advised us to pass on the California Adventure. He is artistic, with good judgement - so we have followed his advice. Another bad sign!

OT: Non-stock stuff:

[Check Sundays Doonesbury for the best single statement on that predicament and see if you can find which Red Lobster that Jimmy Thudpucker is waiting tables at so you can get his autograph! ]

In our Sunday Doonesbury - no Red Lobster or Jimmy Thudpucker were used.It was the CNN correspondent "interviewing ordinary Americans" etc. segment. Could your newspaper carry an older or newer segment? And speaking of Doonesbury, the cartoon our extreme right most likes to beat up on - what about the current segment showing one of the SKG guys in a bad light? LOL. Different rules for the rich and powerful - even the great liberal ones.
Dave Geffen is dead wrong in blocking my access to our ocean.

Be awhile til those kids are old enough to get that stock, so it may prove to be a good thing in the long run.


Post  42182  by  pdowd       Reply
tinljhtkh !
If you run across anything linking West Nile to terrorism please post it. I read last week about such a theory. I live in south Louisiana and there are alot of fellow citizens infected and the median age keeps getting lower all the time. PD.

Post  42183  by  pdowd       Reply
The Disney California experience must really be bad ! The concierge at our hotel warned us against it as well as total strangers as we walked from the empty parking lot to the main gate. It really looked cheesy and empty as well. It is no bargain either ,it would have cost me $360 to see both parks in one day. As it turned out it cost $180 for the Magic Kingdom plus $165 for lunch and dinner. We were raped by disney for lunch ($42 for burgers and fries, but dinner was really enjoyable at the Blue Bayou restaurant overlooking part of the Pirates of the Carribean. We had inquired about staying on the Disney property ,but could not get a room under $200 per night which in this economy is outrageous ! By contrast we got a wonderful room at the Beverly Hilton for under $100 per night, and Catherine Zeta Jones was even filming parts of her next movie at the hotel. I am all "Disneyed Out" !!!!! Later PD.

Post  42184  by  tinljhtkh       Reply
Hi Wilful!

"I'm not aware of another [Why he is building another theme park beside Disneyland with the theme of California is anyones guess!] theme park presently underway, but Disney did complete its California Adventure project a year or two ago,, and it is located right next to Disneyland. Is it that to which you refer? My #3 boy is something of an afficionado of amusement parks,, and has advised us to pass on the California Adventure. He is artistic, with good judgement - so we have followed his advice. Another bad sign!"

Yup! That would be the one! I suppose that time does pass and projects do get completed! I think that they are, or were, contemplating a third park but hadn't done anything with the idea! I suppose that if you don't know what else to do with your cashflow you simply build another park with it! It would have been nice if they had poured some of the money into their existing assets, but then you have to be able to decide what it is that you want to do with them!

In our Sunday Doonesbury - no Red Lobster or Jimmy Thudpucker were used.It was the CNN correspondent "interviewing ordinary Americans" etc. segment. Could your newspaper carry an older or newer segment? And speaking of Doonesbury, the cartoon our extreme right most likes to beat up on - what about the current segment showing one of the SKG guys in a bad light? LOL. Different rules for the rich and powerful - even the great liberal ones.
Dave Geffen is dead wrong in blocking my access to our ocean.

I guess that it must have been a couple of sundays ago that it appeared! It is the one where Jimmy brags in his interview with Mark on his PBS radio show that he is getting 65 million downloads a month! Jimbo is only working as a waiter until he can figure out a business plan! If nobody can find it anywhere then I'm getting too much sleep!
Or perhaps not enough!

I've never done the California beach scene much beyond driving the coastal highway from LA up past Big Sur! I've hung out at Carmel by the Sea a little bit and walked the beaches around Cambria before and after trips to the Hearst Mansion! On one of my trips I remember the huge underwater seaweed piled up there and how I left just a few days before the 89 earthquake hit the Bay area during the world series! I assume that I would have been eating out on Pier 39 when it hit if I hadn't changed my arrival plans, but you just never know! I was scheduled to land about three in the afternoon the day that it happened and we stayed at the Travellodge right there at Fisherman's Wharf!

Disney will survive and prosper! I see that their opening night on ABC was strong so maybe there is hope for them! For some reason I still remember where I was when I heard that Walt Disney died! As long as there is a Mickey Mouse he never really will die!

I hope that the rich learn to share with those not as fortunate while there is still time to do so! A shared view of the ocean is a small price to pay for the enrichment of the soul! If you can see them surfing, swimming and having a good time at least they're not plotting to blow you up!




PS--now lets see what else I can screw up today! It's my mom's birthday and she's probably just messing around with my head again! She can't give me haircuts anymore so she's decided to try something new!

Post  42185  by  tinljhtkh       Reply

According to CNBC there are 24 dead here in Illinois and over 400 confirmed cases all over the state. I kind of wanted to take Lucy the cat with me last night but after I read the choices that people are making about medical care for their horses, I just left her safe at home!

I don't know if its terrorism or not but when you worry about the birds who are eating out in your yard it certainly is a terror either way! I'll keep an eye out for information on terrorism for you!




Post  42186  by  wilful10       Reply
MSFT reneges on deal?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp.'s rivals complained
to the U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday that the company is
reneging on some of the promises it made to settle its
antitrust case last year.
In a letter to the department, a trade group representing
Microsoft's critics and competitors said the software giant had
not lived up to a promise to make it easy to substitute
non-Microsoft software for some features in the Windows
operating system.
Under the proposed settlement, Microsoft is required to
provide a way for consumers and computer makers to enable or
remove access to key software features such as the Internet
browser and media player.
To comply with that provision, Microsoft added a feature to
Windows XP in a "service pack" update to the operating system
that the company released on Sept. 9. It allows computer users
to remove access to some Microsoft features such as Internet
Explorer and Windows Media Player and add similar software from
other companies.
But the anti-Microsoft trade group, known as ProComp,
complained the move is "hopelessly inadequate and misleading"
because the company had made the new utility difficult to
obtain and hard to use.
ProComp said Microsoft should have offered the utility
separately, not as part of the bulky, hard-to-download Windows
update. And it said the company has not given it a prominent
place in the Windows "start button," as it promised to do in
the settlement.
Microsoft spokesman Jim Desler said the complaints were
groundless. He said the changes had been made in consultation
with officials from the government and the computer industry.
"We are doing a great deal and are committed to
implementing the proposed settlement, and will work closely
with government and industry to ensure its success," Desler
"It's unfortunate but hardly surprising that this special
interest group chose to play politics rather than participate
in this process," Desler said.
The settlement crafted by Microsoft and the U.S. Justice
Department in November of 2001 gives computer makers greater
freedom to feature rival software on their machines by allowing
them to hide some Microsoft icons on the Windows desktop.
Nine of the 18 states in the lawsuit agreed to sign on to
the deal, but nine others have asked U.S. District Judge
Colleen Kollar-Kotelly for tougher restrictions. Her decision
is pending.

Post  42187  by  pmcw       Reply
It appears that ORCL has lost its pricing power, CSCO has lost its backlog, EDS has lost all traction and SUNW has lost its mind. Hmmm. This leave EMC. Kidding aside, I think the take on CSCO is over blown. Lead times are way in and no one is buying way out. IBM is being overly punished for the sins of others too. However, I am serious about ORCL and SUNW - LINUX PC's - give me a break - that sounds about as well targeted as buying StarOffice. Message to Scott: Don't try to compete with DELL and get rid of your fixation on Softie. Do what SUNW does best and offer bullet proof solutions and find a way to make some real money with client side JAVA. Regards, pmcw

Post  42188  by  Arkural       Reply
Intersil may jumpstart a price war

By Ben Charny
Staff Writer, CNET
September 18, 2002, 3:07 PM PT

Emerging competition could spark a price war in the market for popular 802.11a equipment, industry analysts said Wednesday.
Intersil announced Wednesday that it is developing 802.11a chipsets and plans to charge manufacturers less for the product than the only other 802.11a chipmaker, Atheros Communications.

Intersil is looking at a price range of $20 to $25 per chip, said spokesman Ron Paciello. Atheros charges between $25 and $30 for its chips, used to make wireless networking equipment based on the 802.11a standard.

"We're going to be the lowest priced," Paciello said.

An Atheros representative couldn't be reached for comment. Navin Sabharwal, a wireless analyst with ABI Research, believes Atheros will likely respond to Intersil's move by slashing prices.

"I can't imagine that Atheros won't match Intersil's latest prices," Sabharwal said. As prices drop, manufacturers won't have to spend as much to make equipment and can sell a finished product at a lower price, Sabharwal said.

Companies such as Linksys, BroMax and Cisco sell laptop modems for around $100 to $125. An access point, or device that is used to create a wireless broadband zone, often costs between $200 and $250.

Wireless 802.11a networks are five times faster than the many networks found in homes, offices and stores based on the Wi-Fi standard, or 802.11b.

A similar price war over the past two years has helped slash the cost of 802.11b laptop modems and access points. Chipsets for 802.11b devices were originally priced from $25 to $30; now prices fall in the $15 to $17 range. Also, prices for 802.11b laptop modems were cut in half as a result of the wars, to around $50.

Prices for 802.11b access points also fell from more than $200 to between $100 and $125.

"The (802.11a) price competition hasn't been there; there has only been one supplier," Sabharwal said. "Now that Intersil is on board, you'll see lower prices."

Sabharwal said he thinks 802.11a access points could drop to a "sub-$200 level" by early 2003, about the time Intersil expects the first equipment using its chips to debut. The cost of 802.11a laptop modem cards will likely drop to between $75 to $80, he said.

For now, most major manufacturers believe 802.11a networks will find greater acceptance in businesses and in future digital homes, where PCs will be used as a hub to connect a range of devices, from TVs to stereos.

The standard has a few advantages over 802.11b. Chiefly, an 802.11a network offers better security features, a top concern among businesses. It can also handle more users simultaneously and is faster. However, 802.11a equipment doesn't work on 802.11b networks. For example, a person with an 802.11a card in his or her laptop cannot access a home network using an 802.11b base station.

Post  42189  by  uponroof       Reply

Thanks for getting back to me. I do appreciate your view on things and I am starting to see the wisdom in much of what you say, despite our usual opposing viewpoints.

If I am not mistaken you are basing your no RE bubble position on currently low interest rates (lower interest rates=lower mortgage payments=more affordable real estate).

While that addresses the monthly payment, what of the underlying value? Does cheap money simply correct unbalanced wealth? What happens to cheap payments and the percentage of interest amounts in mortgages when rates rise to more traditional averages? All those enormous mortgages with low payments become liabilities to someone...lender or borrower. Then the bubble, if present, will be visible.

Thanks again for your thoughts but I'm still not convinced we have a docile RE market with no lingering side effects brewing.


on a side note this is an addendum to my RBA post today:

Senator Baker is concerned with RE lending imbalances and the inability of our gummint to forecast and record accurately this "substantial mismatch":


September 18, 2002

The Honorable Armando Falcon, Jr.
Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight
1700 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20552

Dear Director Falcon:

Early this week, Fannie Mae announced that the duration gap of its
portfolio widened to negative 14 months on August 31, 2002, having moved out
from negative 9 months at the end of July. Fannie Mae's negative gap was even
farther outside management's preferred range of plus or minus 6 months. This
disclosure has been the subject of market analyst and media reports; some
believe that Fannie Mae, in acting in the markets to rebalance its portfolio,
could exacerbate the corporation's duration gap problem.

Shortly after Fannie Mae's announcement, I received a letter from you
stating that "we consider negative 14 months to be a substantial mismatch."

Today, Freddie Mac announced that the duration gap of its portfolio
averaged approximately zero months for August 2002, unchanged from July 2002.
Over the past year, Freddie Mac's monthly average duration gap ranged between
negative one and plus one month.

Fannie Mae's worsening negative duration gap and the sharp contrast with
Freddie Mac greatly concern me.

On December 17, 2001, I wrote you about Fannie Mae's disclosure that for
October 2001 the duration gap between its mortgages and debt was a negative 10
months and expressed my concerns with this fact. I requested a complete report
about Fannie Mae's duration gap and your supervisory evaluation.

On January 29, 2002, in response, OFHEO stated: "Fannie Mae's approach to
managing interest rate risk is to take prudent actions to rebalance the risk of
the portfolio when it moves out of the target range......Depending on the size
of the duration gap, Fannie Mae may not necessarily take those rebalancing
actions immediately or in large size. Management will instead take actions
progressively over a period of time that may last as long as several months."

"Several months" have elapsed and Fannie Mae's negative duration gap has
significantly widened, not narrowed, much less has it been brought back into an
appropriate range.

It appears that your statement - "Management will instead take actions
progressively over a period of time that may last as long as several months." -
was a misplaced confidence.

In your September 16th letter, you finally outlined steps that OFHEO is
taking to address Fannie Mae's mismatch. In my view, OFHEO's recognition of
Fannie Mae's problem is overdue and your delaying allowed unacceptable levels of
risk to continue for far too long.

OFHEO's calculations of Fannie Mae's risk-based capital requirements for
4th quarter 2001 and 1st quarter 2002, which you provided me this summer,
indicated that Fannie Mae had capital surpluses, under all but one scenario.
Moreover, OFHEO's annual examination report, issued in June, found that Fannie
Mae's interest rate risk management exceeded OFHEO's standards. It now appears
that Fannie Mae's negative duration gap has been a problem for almost a year.
How is it possible to have confidence that OFHEO's risk-based capital rule will
accurately reveal the corporation's true risk position and performance? OFHEO
should focus on implementing the risk-based capital rule as soon as possible, so
we can determine its effectiveness.


Richard H. Baker

Cc: Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski
Hon. Peter R. Fisher

Michael DiResto
Press Secretary
U.S. Rep. Richard Baker, La.-6
(225) 929-7711


Hummmm...something's not quite right with gummint RE lending these days. We'll see just how bad (or good) things are in a few years.

Good Luck


Post  42190  by  Arkural       Reply

Hmmmmmmm, it seems to me that you recall JFK-Oswald, Pearl Harbour and a
host of other honest stories fabricated or 'mixed w/...' for purposes that are not
kind, but serve to feed a 'monster' that has no definitive structure as
human kind for the most part understands it, hence this echo once again of,,,,,,ambiguity.

I wrote shortly after the mess of 9.11.01 took place that the Truth of this is
likened to be similar to the JFK departure and that that being that, that the Truth
(of 911) will likely not be known to the masses.........especially
those who hunger for it but instead are fed by what I've termed repeatedly, the drug-media, a corrosive force tgt'ing (unconsciously), the human spirit.

From my lighthouse the current cycle is a MAJOR heads-up for potential crummy events in any tomorrow and especially in some yrs yet ahead.

Even if Truth of life at large were to be exposed in its fullness, the abrupt pain of it would be/will be crushing to most (particularly those whose reliance is of a material bent) even to the effect of disbelief and yet, , ,and yet, the timely de-mystification of a world caught and trapped in a polluted sesspool of things hateful, destructive and ugly rather than things loving, creative and beautiful shall be brought to the fore with the passage of what we call time.

The road ahead is in jeopardy.

Sacrifice now to gain in future days.......................simplicity, is (one good) a key to living life and all it might offer its steward.

Post  42191  by  pmcw       Reply
Ark / ISIL

Thanks for the post. To lead the price curve (independent of competition) has been the ISIL game plan from day one. Even without competition they have dropped chip-set prices by 10% per quarter. This is been to stimulate demand - ya know, that old elasticity of demand curve stuff. Of course, at the same time, they are dropping production costs by roughly 20% per quarter. This can be seen in the quarterly GP increases.

Bottom Line: All the fear built into the stock price in unwarranted. Show me another company with a fiscal track record like ISIL that has growth prospects like ISIL and trades at a forward P:E of less than 15:1 and I'll buy it too. Well, maybe not, but I'll probably keep buying ISIL. Please take note pmcw report will add four buys at $14 if we should be so lucky.
Regards, pmcw

Post  42192  by  Arkural       Reply
pmcw-Noticed and noted. :-) eom