Table On-Topic Summary - 31-Oct-2002
A compilation of this board's financial/economic posts From 44309 to 44382

Post  44309  by  tinljhtkh       OT: It must have been sad and embarrassing to see
Post  44310  by  Decomposed       OT: Table ON TOPIC SUMMARY Oct 30, 2002

Post  44311  by  Decomposed       Reply
re: Daschle,

The following political ad is running ONLY on Well, and now here. Too harsh for TV, I suppose.

(Needs Macromedia FLASH, and sound.)

Post  44312  by  oldCADuser       OT: Well, I just finished voting. I generally pre
Post  44313  by  maniati       OT: The Republicans in Minnesota say they want equ
Post  44314  by  motordavid       OT: Our state tax dollars
Post  44315  by  clo       OT: old Harvey Pitt hands the democrats
Post  44316  by  nacl01       OT: Briguy

Post  44317  by  uponroof       Reply

Post  44318  by  pmcw       Reply
IBM Pushes Its Vision For E-Business Version 2 Oct. 30, 2002

On-demand computing, built on uniquely flexible infrastructures, will be the difference between surviving and perishing, the company says.
By Paul McDougall

Under a broad campaign called on-demand computing, IBM has unveiled a vision of corporate computing based on uniquely flexible infrastructures. These architectures would automatically adjust to changes in demand for processing power, unfailingly accept new applications regardless of source, and support the creation of spur-of-the-moment teams comprised of a few people or whole companies.
In his first major address after adding the title of chairman to his CEO tag, IBM's Sam Palmisano said businesses must move to on-demand computing if they are to remain competitive. Speaking to a roomful of CIOs and reporters in New York's Museum of Natural History, Palmisano was almost admonishing in tone. "You are the ones who have to drive this; you have the organizational perspective," he told them.

IBM's campaign unites a number of initiatives that the company has been pursuing for a couple of years, including grid computing, storage virtualization, open-source operating systems, and middleware and Web services.

"This is the next phase of E-business--it's the on-demand phase," said Irving Wladawsky-Berger, IBM's VP for technology and strategy. Wladawsky-Berger will head a new on-demand unit within IBM that will pull together resources from across the company to develop new technologies.

While the strategy sounds grand, some observers say it's merely the culmination of works in progress that IBM has been engaged in for several years. "This is very evolutionary," Merrill Lynch analyst Steve Milunovich says. "On the other hand, businesses don't like their strategic vendors to go off on radical changes," he added.

Palmisano said the company will invest $10 billion in related R&D, business activities, and acquisitions. The company will also open on-demand design centers around the world to help customers implement pilot projects. The centers will be in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; San Jose, Calif.; as well as in Japan and France. IBM is also launching an on-demand assessment practice within its business consulting practice.

IBM also is changing the way it sells hardware and software to better align with the way it thinks customers will need to acquire technology in an on-demand world. The company says its entire line of business hardware and software will be available under flexible, utilitylike pricing models under which customers pay for only what they use, when they use it.

Post  44319  by  uponroof       Reply

Thanks for getting back to me.

Interesting info on those BTPs. Outside of a banking crisis (JPM, CITI, YIKES!) they seem to be a very good place for your money. I will look into it despite my concerns for banks. Congrats on your good work navigating through the last 2 years of rough water. Interesting that you are in Banks and gold at the same time.

I like Russell alot. He only recently (1 1/2 years ago) moved into the gold camp so, IMHO, his words have some weight.

I read Sinclair also,. He and Harry Schultz are quite a team.

Thanks again for that info. I will look into it. There are some who think we will become the Switzerland (nation of banks) over the coming years. The strong dollar (relative to other weaker currencies) bring the backbone of our paper strength, and bane of our exporting weakness.

Good Luck


Post  44320  by  uponroof       Reply
John Hathaway at Tocqueville Funds

"...These days, it is hard to identify whatever it is that represents business as usual. Norms go out the window during turbulent markets. Most would admit that the ‘90’s mania was an aberration. However, few appear to be ready for the mania’s aftermath. Business cycle upturn or not, the credit cycle is on the wane. The mechanisms, institutions, and economic policies that misallocated capital are still functional but under siege. They are under siege because markets are balky, economies flaccid, and faith shaky. The Fed can continue to intervene to affect market behavior to achieve a desired effect for a brief period, but it cannot make lenders lend, consumers spend, or businesses invest. The bubble’s aftermath will progress at whatever pace and to whatever extent is necessary to liquidate the preponderance of bad investments. Based on history, the pace will be measured in years and perhaps decades."

Post  44321  by  lkorrow       Reply
Falloff in cable "growth." Worth looking at the link (included below) to see the de-penetration of cable and subsiding subscriber growth charts. (p. s. I'm back, 170 msgs to catch up on) . . .

Cable's Growth Worries Take a New Twist

By George Mannes
Senior Writer
10/31/2002 06:57 AM EST

In the cable TV business, holding onto basic video subscribers has become like running on a treadmill gone out of control. You have to work harder and harder just to stay in the same place.
That's what some people in the investment community are concluding after looking at basic subscriber figures over the past two years.

As investors have already noted, the growth in households subscribing to basic cable has slowed and even reversed in recent years. But behind that well-known problem is a lesser-known one that's equally troublesome or even more so for cable's future, says one short-seller.

That second problem is the decline in basic cable penetration -- the percentage of households in areas served by a cable operator that subscribe to the multichannel TV service. Because a shrinking percentage of households in a given area are subscribing to cable, operators must keep expanding their system into new neighborhoods in order to maintain subscriber growth or stave off losses, says the short-seller, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The deterioration of penetration -- which dogs even top-tier operators like Comcast (CMCSK:Nasdaq - news - commentary - research - analysis) and Cox Communications (COX:NYSE - news - commentary - research - analysis) -- eats away at cable companies' ability to get a return on the billions of dollars they've borrowed and invested over the past few years to upgrade their systems and offer advanced services. In the wake of the high-profile failure of Adelphia Communications (ADELQ:Nasdaq - news - commentary - research - analysis), cable investors have grown less certain that returns on these upgrades will be around the corner as promised.


Similar red flags about the falloff in penetration are raised in a report from J.P. Morgan analyst Jason Bazinet subtitled, "Why Basic Sub Growth May Be Worse Than You Think." In the August report, Bazinet asserts that cable operators are masking the basic subscriber problem by building up their systems faster than the natural rate of new household formation.

Year-over-year basic subscriber growth reported by the industry has sunk from 0.5% in the fourth quarter of 2000 to negative 0.2% in the first two quarters of this year, says Bazinet. But if cable operators built systems at the same pace of new household formation, they'd actually be losing subscribers at a rate of nearly 2% a year.

A particular troubling element of the penetration falloff, says Bazinet, is that the pace accelerated in the first half of this year. That runs counter to many investors' expectations that industrywide system upgrades, nearing completion, would stabilize the decline.

The declining penetration accompanying cable system expansion raises at least two worrisome questions for cable investors. One, how long will operators, facing competition from direct broadcast satellite service, be able to build their way out of steep subscriber losses? And two, are the new potential customers reached by plant expansion worth the cost of reaching them?

"If the only way you can grow your customer base is by doing line extensions," says the short-seller, "that implies you're losing customers on your base network. If that trend continues, where you have less and less customers per mile of plant, over time your operating margins will come under pressure."

Or, using an example from the food-service industry, the short-seller says, "If McDonald's (MCD:NYSE - news - commentary - research - analysis) has to keep opening new stores to sell the same number of burgers, that's going to eat into their profitability."


The questions surrounding penetration spotlight major ongoing challenges to the cable TV industry. As DBS services such as EchoStar Communications' (DISH:Nasdaq - news - commentary - research - analysis) Dish Network eat into cable TV's traditional customer base, the question remains whether cash generated by a new generation of advanced cable services will offset a slowdown in demand for basic cable.

Over the past year, in fact, cable stocks have slid as investors have grown increasingly uncertain that the billions plowed into cable system upgrades in recent years will result in payoffs from advanced services as large and as timely as they previously expected.

Whatever the implications, the penetration decline is real and extensive. Judging from the pro forma figures issued by cable operators this year, nearly all of them showed falling percentages of basic customers among the households passed by their systems.

For operators Charter Communications (CHTR:Nasdaq - news - commentary - research - analysis) and AT&T's (T:NYSE - news - commentary - research - analysis) Broadband unit, the decline is dramatic. Charter, for example, went from 60.8% penetration in the first quarter of 2001 to 57.5% in the second quarter of 2002, the latest quarter for which the company has achieved full results.

At the other end of the spectrum is Cablevision Systems (CVC:NYSE - news - commentary - research - analysis), whose New York-area systems boosted penetration from the first quarter of 2001 over four subsequent quarters, falling just below early 2001 levels in the second quarter of this year.

In between, the penetration problem is hitting even Comcast and Cox, which enjoy the reputation of being the best-run and most financially stable cable operators. Comcast, set to complete its merger with AT&T Broadband in November, has seen penetration fall from 61.9% in the first quarter of 2001 to 60.1% in the third quarter of 2002.

But cable subscriber growth fueled by extensions of Comcast's systems has hidden that drop. With homes passed by Comcast growing by 3.8% over that same time period, the company has reported basic subscriber growth of eight-tenths of 1 percent.

What It Means

As for nailing down the impact of waning penetration, Bazinet gives it a try in his report. First, he starts with the calculation that the cable industry is building out its systems to pass new homes at the rate of 2.8% per year -- more than double the 1.2% growth rate for countrywide household formation. After some other calculations, he says that cable, at its current growth rate, will run out of new homes to pass in eight years. But operators concentrated in rural areas, such as Charter and Mediacom Communications (MCCC:Nasdaq - news - commentary - research - analysis) -- which are expanding at a pace above the industry average -- will hit the wall in three years, Bazinet says.

Whether these new households add economic value is also hard to judge. Using average figures for construction costs, penetration rates and customer valuations, Bazinet says passing new homes does translate into incremental value for shareholders. But he tempers that conclusion with a caveat. Because it's likely that many of the households being passed by cable already are DBS subscribers, Bazinet suggests it's a stretch to assume that cable will enjoy the same acceptance rates it has in areas where cable is the incumbent, not satellite.

Making a less-precise argument, the short-seller says he believes the cash-flow return on system expansion is lower than the corresponding cost of capital.

To be sure, cable operators acknowledge that the basic cable business isn't what it used to be. But rather than focus on the weak basic business, they say investors should focus on successes with high-end, high-margin offerings, like the high-speed Internet service that Cox crowed about in its quarterly results released earlier this week.

The short-seller, citing the higher churn rates of more advanced services, isn't swayed. Pointing to Cox and Comcast, he says that even the best-operated cable businesses "still can't fight the inexorable tide of satellite."


Post  44322  by  pmcw       Reply
For quite some time, I worried much more about NT's viability than I did LU. That has changed - well, to the extent that I feel NT is doing much better in their recovery process. LU is doing reasonably well too, but I feel their current position is 100% reflected in their price. If you like LU long term I would suggest looking into their 8% converts that mature in 2004. They are currently selling at a 25% discount and must be filled at face value when mature (LU can give you shares rather than cash, but the exchange is face value of the note paid in market price of shares which is about four times the current trading price of the convert). About the only risk is a reorganization and I feel that is less than a 50/50 shot.

Personally, I'm draining off the shares I bought as LU bottomed and trying to two bag my average entry on these shares. This will make for a nice return on my total LU adventure initiated a little over a year ago.

In the case of NT I'll probably drain some shares for a triple (given the opportunity) and then look to replace the position very close to a buck.

Regards, pmcw

Post  44323  by  weevil       Reply
pmcw..Sold 50% LU @.99 & the rest today for a 1.5'er. eom

Post  44324  by  garhart       Reply
Briguy, I am touched by your kind response to my most inappropriate post directed towards you. Please accept my apologies.

Post  44325  by  Decomposed       Reply
re: Housing bubble

Did it just burst? Headlining today's SF Chronicle:

Foreclosures Leap 21% in Bay Area

Post  44326  by  Decomposed       Reply
re: Albertson's

ABS is off about 16% today. Grocery stores are being clobbered by Wal-Mart.

And speaking of Wal-Mart -- or, rather, its chief rival -- what do you think the odds are that K-mart will close its doors for good this Christmas? Seems to me that Montgomery Wards spent about a year in reorganization before experiencing a bad Christmas season and tossing in the towel. K-mart is treading that same line.

I'm betting that, for KM, January 2003 is the end.

Post  44327  by  pmcw       Reply
Decomp, With mortgage rates creeping upwards and the natural late fall drop in house buying we will most certainly see some "softness" in residential real estate prices. Add to this, the many who have re-financed to the gills and lost their job and there will be some significant drops in the regional markets that have shown the greatest increases. I think a November rate cut will ease this pain, but not forestall the inevitable return to a normal appreciation rate for residential real estate. In other words, what has gone up too fast will go down too fast and order will be restored.

Beyond the regional markets that have "enjoyed" hyper appreciation, even the markets that have trended more normally will feel some pain as well. A friend who is an independent mortgage broker has related many stories about people who have come to him for help after they've been sucked into 125% financing deals. Since my friend was born with a conscience, I won't accept those seeking this foolish form of financing. Unfortunately, he also can't help those who have been trapped by others who don't operate with the same ethics.

In one of the many cases he's seen a family tried to leverage their home to maintain a lifestyle as the husband searched for a job. He found one out of town and now wants to move. However, they can't sell their house for what they owe and therefore must either maintain two residences or walk away and allow foreclosure.

It is very sad that predatory lending practices are legal, but I guess that's one of the prices we pay for certain freedoms. If they weren't legal the void left would likely be filled for some by illegal lenders whose practices would most certainly be more brutal.

Regards, pmcw

Post  44328  by  rdmill       Reply
Dear PMCW--do you have the symbol for the Nortel preferred?
Thanks. rdmill

(Voluntary Disclosure: Position- No Position)

Post  44329  by  Decomposed       ot: Internet

Post  44330  by  pmcw       Reply
rd, NT preferred only trades on the Toronto exchange. I believe the symbols are NTL pfTO and NTL pgTO. Regards, pmcw

Post  44331  by  pmcw       OT: Decomp, Let's just say it's not crisp, but not

Post  44332  by  clo       Reply
US-SEC-Webster Appointment

WASHINGTON, Oct 31, 2002 (AP WorldStream via COMTEX) -- Securities and Exchange
Commission Chairman Harvey Pitt asked Thursday for an investigation of William
Webster's selection to head an accounting oversight board after the disclosure
that Pitt concealed information about Webster from SEC commissioners.

Commission spokeswoman Christi Harlan said the agency's inspector general,
Walter Stachnik, would conduct the internal investigation, calling it "the
normal route" for such inquiries. "This is simply a look at the process and it
is not a review of Judge Webster," she said.

Harlan confirmed the request for the IG investigation in the wake of a
revelation that Pitt had failed to tell other commission members - in advance of
last Friday's SEC vote - that Webster had headed an auditing committee of a
company facing fraud charges.

A sharply divided SEC approved Webster's appointment that day. The two Democrats
on the commission had supported another candidate whom they believed would
advocate tough regulation of the accounting industry.

The SEC auditing oversight board was created by legislation inspired by
accounting scandals that led to the financial debacle at Enron, WorldCom, Global
Crossing and other large companies. It was designed to supervise and discipline
the accounting industry.

Webster, a former director of the CIA and FBI and former federal judge, was
selected by a 3-2 vote to head the oversight board. Pitt was Webster's leading
advocate on the commission and had come under fire for playing politics with the

Democrats on the committee had backed John H Biggs, a pension fund
administrator, for the job.

After the vote, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Paul Sarbanes, a Maryland
Democrat, had called on Pitt to resign.

Pitt has come under fire for his ties to the accounting industry at a time that
the SEC has been heavily involved in the investigation of large-scale accounting
fraud at big corporations. Before joining the commission, he represented Wall
Street's big players and all Big Five accounting firms as a private security

The White House has remained steadfast in its support of Pitt.

SEC chief seeks probe by inspector general of Webster's selection to head new ac
ounting oversight board
Associated Press Writer

Copyright 2002 Associated Press, All rights reserved


APO Priority=r
(WS SL:BC-US-SEC-Webster Appointment; CT:f;


*** end of story ***

Post  44333  by  pmcw       Reply
clo, I think Pitt has had more than a fair chance to serve his country and all he has done is shame himself and his supporters. I sure do miss Levitt! He had guts and integrity. Regards, pmcw

Post  44334  by  danking_70       OT: Hezbollah uses Canada as base:

Post  44335  by  clo       Reply
pmcw, Pitt, you know what really amazes me?

The fact that GWB has continued to back Pitt, and Pitt's total disregard for the cause and effect his behavior casts on GWB...
and the damage it has on the confidence or lack of for investors!

I think Webster's appointment should be tossed along with Pitt.

Let's start from scratch instead of constantly digging up new dirt.
I wonder if Rudolph Guillianni would be appropriate for a role here? clo

Post  44336  by  pmcw       Reply
clo, I don't know if Rudy would take the pay cut - he's making a fortune on the speaking circuit. Besides, I see the job as "below" him and plagued with much more risk than reward. I loved Levitt and I think it would be a stroke of genius to bring him back. Not only the best person for the job, but reaching across party lines.

Regards, pmcw

Post  44337  by  jeffbas       OT: I agree! Let's have some more "oldies but

Post  44338  by  oldCADuser       Reply
PMCW & Clo, like this mornings speculation about whether K-Mart will make it past the "After-Christmas Sales" season, I'm beginning to suspect that Pitt won't either.


Post  44339  by  stockmom       Reply
If I remember correctly the Motley Fool was the one who got everyone to their site when Levitt wanted the fair disclosure rule. Maybe they could help us to get Levitt back or something else.

this was on the site but I can't get through from work.

Pitt and Webster Must Go
SEC Chairman Pitt hid key information from the public. It's the last straw.

Post  44340  by  oldCADuser       OT: NO, it has been fine, both from home earlier t
Post  44341  by  pacemakernj       OT: Garhart, I do enjoy me time here. I find the d

Post  44342  by  pmcw       Reply
mom, I was one of the first to write to Levitt when MF started the effort. I think he's a great leader and stood tall when he was getting heat from Wall Street. Regards, pmcw

Post  44343  by  stockmom       Reply
It's very easy for people to complain, but doing something about it is the part where you need to actually do something.
If the investors were truly upset and wanted something done like they did with the Fair Disclosure rule, they would get together. Maybe the Motley Fool should again be, where we start.

Post  44344  by  pacemakernj       OT: Clo, even I cannot defend this latest snafu. I
Post  44345  by  pacemakernj       OT: Briguy, I did not know of your loss when I ask
Post  44346  by  clo       OT: Pace, if Pitt had any shred of fiber he would
Post  44347  by  tinljhtkh       OT: Of Harvey, Walter and Elwood, and George W too

Post  44348  by  oldCADuser       Reply
Not much chance of that...

"If he doesn't do it by the close of day, GWB should fire him."

...until after Tuesday. I would think that GWB is just going to ignore this and hope that it does not become an even bigger issue in the elections and then once the smoke settles near the end of next week, we will start to hear more from the White House as to what will happen next. And I agree, this was probably the last straw, just that there's going to be a delayed response (sort of like a hand grenade, the White House has probably already pulled the pin, just that the explosion won't go off until about this time next week).


Post  44349  by  pacemakernj       OT: Clo, we agree. eom. Pace
Post  44350  by  pacemakernj       OT: Clo, thanks for that post. Pace.

Post  44351  by  pmcw       Reply
smom, The letters from MF were all sent to Levitt as a thank you for his efforts - not a campaign to keep him on board per se. What we can all do is send our opinions to our representatives (particularly those running for office) and express our opinions. I did that this morning. You can find the email addresses at and Regards, pmcw

Post  44352  by  danking_70       Reply
"Pitt seeks probe of himself"

That headline is too funny.

Pitt should have been ousted long ago.

Post  44353  by  clo       OT: Pace, I thought of you as soon as I read it!

Post  44354  by  oldCADuser       Reply
PMCW, thank you...

"What we can all do is send our opinions to our representatives (particularly those running for office) and express our opinions."

...for the idea, and while neither of our Senators are up for election this year, I included them as well.

Again thank you for the suggestion.


Post  44355  by  pdowd       Reply
pmcw re:predatory lending !
I think that there is an alarming trend in the minority/low income housing market. As someone who has owned rental property and has renovated older houses in distressed areas to sell to the poor, there are a number of unscrupulous developers who are buying distressed properties and getting appraisors to value them at inflated prices and getting them on the market to sell to poor families.
Part of the blame for the housing bubble must go in my opinion to my freinds in the real estate appraisal industry. I have sold houses that if I wanted to could have appraised for what ever outrageous price I wanted, especially if the buyers were minorities. This whole housing bubble has been fueled by easy money ! Later PD.

Post  44356  by  pmcw       Reply
pd, I can't comment on the minority aspect of the problem - I don't have your first hand knowledge. However, I do appreciate you sharing your experiences. What you stated is despicable and I can only hope it is isolated.

My comments were more broad brush. When you see George Brett and Dan Marion selling their souls to advertise 125% mortgages you know they aren't targeting those with money - they are targeting the poor souls that paid inflated prices for the tickets that made them rich in the first place. I've met Brett on several occasions and can attest he is one of the most arrogant and egotistical a$$holes I've ever met.

I'm not surprised at all to hear that you refuse to participate in these manipulations of the system used to steal from the poor. Those that do are probably the same guys that stole the little kids candy on Halloween.

Just out of curiosity, is the NAACP chapter in your neck of the woods powerless, gutless or just clueless?

Regards, pmcw

Post  44357  by  uponroof       Reply
Global Insight calls for .75 cut...

"...At a conference in New York this week, officials of the economic forecasting firm Global Insight (formerly DRI-WEFA) said the risk of worldwide deflation has grown enough to warrant "bold action" by the Federal Reserve and its counterparts around the world.

Global Insight chief economist Nariman Behravesh said the Fed should cut its key short-term interest rate to 1 percent - a 0.75-percentage-point drop from the current level.

Congress and the Bush administration should pitch in with additional spending and tax cuts totaling $50 billion, he said. Officials in Europe, Japan and elsewhere should adopt similar moves - the goal being to jump-start the global economy before the deflation cycle takes hold..."

Post  44358  by  wilful       Reply
Ttalknet2 - Collecting coins...

Are you taking physical possession of these gold and silver coins? Just curious. Some buyers leave them in various depositories. IMO - not a wise practice.

Nice info on the BTPs.


Post  44359  by  oldCADuser       OT: As if we didn't already have enough things to

Post  44360  by  clo       Reply
BLOCK TRADE - Tenet Healthcare Corp.
7,401,700 shares at $35, down 3.97, crossed by Lehman Brothers. REUTERS

11:53 is the time of this trade! while the stock was halted 2:42...
Now you tell me this was a lucky break for Lehman???
and I have a bridge to sell you!
This is the sort of behavior that should be investigated!!!! ;( clo

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 31, 2002--Tenet
Healthcare Corporation (NYSE: THC) understands that there is a rumor
circulating that its corporate headquarters has been searched by the
Federal Bureau of Investigation. The company wishes to emphasize that
this is absolutely untrue. As Tenet's press release stated earlier
today, we are deeply concerned by allegations contained in an
affidavit filed today by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Sacramento,
Calif., regarding two physicians who practice at Tenet's Redding
Medical Center in Redding, Calif. We believe the unfounded rumors may
be an outgrowth of that matter.
Tenet Healthcare Corporation, through its subsidiaries, owns and
operates 113 acute care hospitals with 27,726 beds and numerous
related health care services. Tenet and its subsidiaries employ
approximately 114,300 people serving communities in 16 states. Tenet's
name reflects its core business philosophy: the importance of shared
values among partners -- including employees, physicians, insurers and
communities -- in providing a full spectrum of health care. Tenet can
be found on the World Wide Web at

Post  44361  by  wilful       Reply
Decomp/PMCW - The increase in housing defaults is regional.

Your "Bay Area" jump is an example. Another example is the bold headline in the business section of my paper (The Press-Enterprise) "Housing defaults decline" which goes on to say DataQuick Information Systems said statewide, and in the Inland Empire, the number of houses going into default - the first step toward foreclosure - declined again in the third quarter as a result of skyrocketing appreciation and steady demand from home buyers.

The Bay area had simply gone to the moon and the top end stuff always gets hits first after achieving a peak. Perfectly normal.

For PMCW - Just wanted to let you know that an alternative exists - other than what you mentioned re the poor guy who was faced with paying on two houses or walking away (foreclosure) from one. A short-sale can be done. This is where the mortgagor (existing lender) agrees to accept less than what he is owed. In this case - he does not foreclose. We did tons of these here in SoCal from 1990 - 1997. In many other states, this was also a common practice. A really knowledgeable real estate broker is the key to a win-win short sale situation.

Just in case any pseudo real estate expert happens to be reading this and is dying to "explain" to me all the possible adverse ramifications of short sales - let me simply say - Spare me... I know them all.



Post  44362  by  ttalknet2       Reply
wilful: possession is the only way, imo. I looked at depositories, but never seriously considered using them. Forgot to mention that I also picked up 500 silver bullion rounds. Storage and security isn't a problem, but I'm sure it would be for other folks.

I'm not a speculator or investor, btw. Just hedging a little by converting some cash into real money assets. The US dollar will probably get even weaker as federal debt, deficits, budgets, and war costs grow ever larger... and as the bear market grows longer in the tooth.

Besides, the interest earned on cash and treasurys is pretty lousey.

As for Bank Trust Preferreds, I'll confess that I don't understand how they are structured to provide such high dividends. By placing $50MM of these BTPs with shareholders, I reckon the regional banks boost reserves and can now make new loans at 10% and higher. Playing the banker's spread to coin a phrase?

Pitt has gotta go!

Post  44363  by  stockmom       Reply

U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly will release her rulings on the Microsoft antitrust case on Friday around 4:30 p.m. ET, the court announced. Kollar-Kotelly is set to rule on whether the proposed federal settlement between Microsoft and the government ending the long-running antitrust case is in the public interest. Separately, the judge will rule on a call by nine states to impose tougher penalties on the software giant. The nine states argued that the proposed settlement left loopholes that would allow Microsoft to continue using its dominant Windows operating system to squelch potential competition.

Post  44364  by  clo       OT: Sites to set your sights on...

Post  44365  by  Decomposed       Reply
Stocks just closed out the best month in FIFTEEN YEARS!

Why does it seem surreal?

Post  44366  by  moosedroppingin       Reply
define smart mr. pace

being around such smartE's

and pace, don't we all need some comfort. How nice a compliment given to you. Be gratefull, and don't eat those grapes on the TABLE with the MooseDroppingIn.

garhart is cool and need not bow up d to anyone here, you too brightguy.
And if you all where so smart, then how come you don't take better care of your fat selves. Look in the mirror in the flesh. Don't be afraid. Take a peak! The mirror won't bite you. Take a good luck, uman enough!

And nice call on the LU trade another posted here, like any care to make a little Perceived Power Paper Here. Mostly a bunch of brownies trying to get TOP POSTS like the MASTER TIN*

From The Lodge
The Moose survived running around the rb yards during hunting season with his 60 pointer rack and dressed as a Queen. Took some buckshot in the grASS though. The Moose didn't mind getting a little slap from the uman. And rb tos'd the Moose a vulgarity violation for exposing some flesh where the buckshot hit. Sure was a big enough target. Rack&Sack still in place. Moose got big ears and hears everything.,

Post  44367  by  moosedroppingin       Reply
A lifetime of deceit

Having fun chasing those NUMBers ??

Think you will catch them someday??


Had enough

Post  44368  by  clo       OT: Oh Decomp!
Post  44369  by  Decomposed       ot: Solar Energy
Post  44370  by  clo       OT: solar energy, Decomp, just think of the jobs t
Post  44371  by  Decomposed       ot: Clo,
Post  44372  by  oldCADuser       OT: Well...

Post  44373  by  lkorrow       Reply
Pace, I was away at a conference for a couple of days, more on that later, but I checked today and you're up 15.6% this week, congrats! Stock tips go over my head, or pocketbook I should say. Fully invested in my etrade acct, I'd have to sell some KRY to buy anything else. That's probably a good idea, since I should be more diversified. Thanks, though, nice of you to mention it. Why's MACR moving, they posted a loss.

Post  44374  by  maniati       Reply
re Pitt vs. Levitt: Well, if there's any room left on this bandwagon, do you all mind if I hop aboard?

Pace, glad to see you aboard as well.

The idea of appointing Webster...that's just too much. Even if he's clean as a whistle, there's no need to pick from companies that are being investigated. What on earth is Pitt thinking in terms of the message that sends? Obviously, Pitt has no clue. And then, to not tell the rest of the commission, that's just unbelievable.

I want Pitt gone, and I want Webster gone, too. Bring back Levitt.

OCU: re your assessment of when Pitt gets canned: Wow, we actually agree on something! Don't know if you will end up being right or not, but I sure am hoping the same thing.

As for the accounting industry, they should get what they deserve, which is regulation. I'm the one who is always saying that people are responsible for their actions. Well, that means the accounting industry is responsible for the mess they have created, and if they were to get more regulation than they can stomach, it's their own fault. No one did it to them. They did it to themselves. Period.

I still like my idea of public companies having their accountants assigned to them. That cleanly puts an end to the symbiotic corruption, by eliminating the incentives for impropriety, and it does that very inexpensively to boot (pardon accounting pun), which is always nice when you're trillions in debt.

Post  44375  by  jeffbas       Reply
maniati, I doubt the accounting profession needs ANY regulation. In my opinion, what it requires is just a law forbidding consulting and accounting services from the same company. That is and always has been an intolerable conflict of interest. You just can't have a "watchdog" with any other relationship at stake.

Post  44376  by  STOCKSNBONDAGE       OT: NO SPAM...but has anyone heard of

Post  44377  by  moosedroppingin       Reply
Here is an investment

Grow a Tail

Oh! That is right! You humans couldn't be trusted with one.
Better yet, go for a run walk or jog. Oppps, sorry, may be too late for U. Here is a good investment to make some money-------DON'T SPEND IT

How is that for some MooseDelightfull Advise???

Throw the Moose a Question to challenge his "smarts"

The Moose also ATTENDed Good Dog U

Post  44378  by  pacemakernj       Reply
Roof, I've said that we needed a 75bp easing 4 months ago. They are just getting around to it. Just one question, if the FED said that the risks were still tilted to the downside why wouldn't they have cut sooner? We've just waisted 3 months for crying out loud. Even if the economy took of they could quickly take them back. It was and is imho, a huge mistake NOT to ease. At least last month. But I said we needed the cut back in June. I just don't know why these people won't listen to me. Regards, Pace.

Post  44379  by  moosedroppingin       Reply
OH OH Where is TIN*

Must working up a TABLE TOPPER for the followers, he is !!

Don't work up d a good boy now

Darn bigbadbulldog hungry for MooseGrapes

Think he will show?

here, lets drop a few on the floor


Post  44380  by  moosedroppingin       Reply

stinky poooooooooodog

here is your treat


Post  44381  by  pacemakernj       Reply
Linda, I bought a toy company today JAKK. Check it out. A very undervalued play, imo. Everyone thinks this Christmas will be lousy, I disagree. Good short term play. I also bought AMGN. IMO, AMGN will be over the next 5 years the top bio/pharmaceutical play out there. If your looking for a good play and have 5 year horizon buy this baby on any dip put it away and imo you'll have a 3 bagger from here. I also bought more MACR yesterday on the dip back to 10. I think we get 15 by XMAS. Buy on any pullback. Still holding XOMA. Waiting for approval on their drug by Dec. It's a buy @ 5.50 and I think it goes to 10 after the new year. But there are a lot of stocks doing well. My INTC cleared resistance and is heading to 20. Bought more KRY @ 1.65. I've been very busy as you can see. I think you have to play this market right now. It's a buy the dips mentality. Regards, Pace.

Post  44382  by  lkorrow       Reply
Decomposed, one would have to be nuts to tout solar as a power plant replacement. Where it's great is on homes and businesses to reduce ongoing energy costs. Would also come in handy if some terrorists decide to blow up your local power plant. There's about a 12 year payback based on recent incentives on Long Island. That assumes oil doesn't go up, I suppose. And it does include selling back energy to the power company for $.06/watt. Of course in a place like LA, where the pollution's a disaster, it could make a real difference if widely deployed. The difference is in quality of life, improved workeer productivity, and reduced mortality rates.

Now a 12 year payback stinks. I was at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's annual conference earlier this week. There, CEOs of various startups in various phases of production or development, were giving pitches to venture capitalists and angel investors for capital. Some of the early results described in solar advancements were very encouraging. Some are developing flexible materials that can be produced on what looks like a printing press and cut up, some are producing dual systems that use the heat to heat water as well as to power the establishment, some are producing more efficient traditional panels, and I can go on and on.

An interesting tibit, developing countries are deploying more cellular than we are. China, for example, is using it to bring power to villages that don't have it today. Distributed power pfoduction, not all bad.

Why are you so opposed to the U. S. taking a lead in this trillion $ market?