Archive for October, 2009

  • 10 highest-paying blue-collar jobs
    , October 23rd, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    MSNBC lists the 10 highest-paying blue-collar jobs. I had no idea that the average elevator installer gets $42.08 an hour.
    I’m curious if “idle blogger” is considered blue collar.

  • Replace the Dollar? Not so Fast.
    , October 23rd, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Vincent Fernando writes that any plan to replace the dollar as the global reserve currency is way too premature.

    Despite worldwide consternation, there simply isn’t a currency ready to trounce the dollar’s reserve status, even if somehow we wanted to change the system.
    Why the Euro remains a pipe dream:

    USA Today: But for all its attractions, the euro lacks some essential attributes. Although the European Union has a central bank, comparable to the Federal Reserve, there is no European treasury. Instead, there are 27 European treasuries. Investors can’t easily track or influence fiscal policy on the continent.
    The dollar is also buoyed by the existence of a massive government bond market. There’s roughly $4 trillion worth of U.S. Treasuries floating around, and almost $100 billion changes hands each day, according to investment management firm Pimco. Trading that’s carried on almost 24 hours a day, rolling east to west from Tokyo to London to New York, makes it easy to move into and out of dollar positions in a hurry.
    Europe, by contrast, has no analogue to the U.S. Treasury market. Instead there is a fragmented scene with individual sovereign debt from Germany, Italy, France and other EU members. No individual market enjoys anything like Treasuries’ liquidity and size.

  • The Case for Buy-and-Hold
    , October 23rd, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Abnormal Returns has a good roundup of links on buy-and-hold. I often hear the argument that buy-and-hold doesn’t work because the market does in fact occasionally down. Yes, that’s true, but the case for buy-and-hold isn’t for a perpetual rally. Instead, it claims that being in stocks all the time is more efficient than a person’s ability to time the market consistently.
    Here’s a stat to consider: On average, the stock market’s best day every 100 trading days is roughly equal to the market’s return average return over 100 days. The other 99% of the time, the market is net flat. So to be a good timer, you have to a really, really good timer. And you get no days off.

  • I Was Dead Wrong on Amazon
    , October 23rd, 2009 at 10:19 am

    OK, it’s time for me to admit that I’ve been dead wrong on (AMZN). I said the stock was vastly overpriced around $85. It’s up $20 today to $113. My hero and mentor, Howard Lindzon, was exactly right and I was wrong.
    There you have it. The market abides. Now let’s never speak of this again.
    (P.S. $113?? Are you nuts???)

  • Norway’s Tax List Reveals Everyone’s Wealth
    , October 22nd, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    Norway has a really, really bad idea—they publish the income and wealth of every taxpayer in the country. Everyone.
    I not only find this troubling that people can find out everyone’s income, but that somebody would want to know.
    One columnist, Jan Omdahl (a man) wrote, “Isn’t this how a social democracy ought to work, with openness, transparency and social equality as ideals?”
    Um, no.
    Let’s just start with the fact that this is an egregious invasion of privacy. On top of that, it’s not even democratic. Less than one-third of Norwegians want the list published.

  • The Eddie Murphy Rule
    , October 22nd, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    Excerpt from remarks by Chairman Gary Gensler, OTC Derivatives Regulation, Futures Industry Association Annual Expo:

    Further, we have recommended that we extend insider trader prohibitions to include parties who receive misappropriated information from any government agency. We call this the Eddie Murphy rule after the movie “Trading Places.”

    Still no word on Norbit.

  • Lawsuit: Madoff’s Workplace was Rife with Cocaine, Sex
    , October 22nd, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    All that’s missing is rock and roll:

    A new lawsuit alleges that convicted swindler Bernie Madoff financed a cocaine-fueled work environment and a “culture of sexual deviance,” and he diverted money to his London, England, office when he believed federal authorities were closing in at home.
    The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in New York’s State Supreme Court, was brought on behalf of former investors and seeks unspecified punitive damages and compensation.
    Beyond that, it offers a look at what the plaintiffs’ attorneys say was once Madoff’s multimillion-dollar empire and what is now his world in a federal prison in North Carolina.
    Among the allegations in the 264-page lawsuit are that during the mid-1970s, Madoff began sending employees to buy drugs for company use.
    The complaint alleges that some employees and investors were aware of the drug purchases, and that BMIS [Bernard Madoff Investment Services] was known by insiders as the “North Pole” in reference to the excessive amount of cocaine use in the work place.

    C’mon. It was the 70s. Who wasn’t sending employees out for blow?

  • Where has the money gone?
    , October 22nd, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Here’s a conversation to contemplate (2:48 mark):

    Maria Bartiromo: Where has the money gone?
    Elizabeth Warren: We not only don’t know, Maria, we’re not ever going to know.

  • Danaher Beats Estimates and Guides Higher
    , October 22nd, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Danaher (DHR) has had a rough year, but the earnings are better than I thought they’d be. Today the company reported 3Q EPS of 89 cents which was three cents better than estimates.
    For Q4, the company said to expect EPS between 99 cents and $1.09. That’s pretty good guidance, however the shares seem a bit on the high side. I’m not sure if Danaher will be on the Buy List next year.

  • The NICK Sell Storm
    , October 22nd, 2009 at 10:13 am

    I’m not sure exactly what happened, but it appears that someone sold off about 100,000 shares of Nicholas Financial (NICK) this week (some mutual funds follow an October 31 accounting year). The stock didn’t take it well. Such are the risks in owning a very small-cap stock. Nevertheless, it’s still an excellent stock and the next earnings report should be out in the first week of November.