Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Random Thoughts

Hat tip to Jesse's Cafe Americain for bringing my attention to a great piece found over at Truth in Options regarding the bonuses at JP Morgan.

This article, which you can view over at Truth in Options surrounds J.P. Morgan's executives hard to understand bonuses. Just something to think about when the boobs and boobs on CNBC wax on and on about how wonderful JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon is.

I really have much to say but it seems I just repeat what I have said previously and risk earning the nickname Ambien. With that in mind I have some random thoughts on some of the characters that grace the stage.

Tim Geithner-the nickname says it all "tax cheat Timmy". Our new Treasury Sec. the golden boy, Tim Geithner., card carrying and lifetime member of 'the club'. His holier than thou oath to serve the people is almost comical if it were not so sadistic. Mr. Geithner is that kid the coaches love and play all the time (atta boy Timmy!!), but every player on his own team and the opponents' know he should be riding the pine. As I have said back in my post Geithner's Big Day;

"I want to touch on the mantra of emanating from D.C. that "he's the only man for the job". I have only one response to this line of bunk which is, if one of the greatest nations on this earth, home to some of the world's finest educational institutions, with over 350 million entrpreneurial and innovative inhabitants and all we have to offer for Treasury Secretary is Tim Geithner as a solution, well then heaven help us all ! "

John Mack
What more does one have to say other than 2 words.... Pequot Capital. While on the subject maybe the SEC should hire Gary Aguirre to run the SEC. Aguirre was the former SEC investigator who was fired for having the audacity to pursue a man of Mack's ilk. How dare he? He must have missed the memo where this type of endeavour was frowned upon by management.

Today we get the news that Yo Yongding, former advisor to China's Central Bank is agitating China to seek guarantees on its $682 billion of U.S. Treasury Holdings, so that these do not get eroded by "reckless policies." Gee, ya think ?

Getting ready to default on their debt. Just what the Global insolvent banks need. Absolute perfect storm, in the bad sense.

Mohammed El-Erian
The former head of Harvard Endowment and now #2 over at Pimco. Someone explain to me how his move from Harvard to Pimco and the disaster unfolding over at Harvard are not related. I am open to suggestions. Maybe one of the CNBC gang can slip that question in among all the hard hitting others they throw.

Vikram Pandit
What can one say about a guy who could sell his hedge fund to Citi for, if memory serves about $800 million only to have it shuttered shortly thereafter. Maybe the thought process to hire him by the board, that is if there was one, went something like this..... "man if he could scam us into a deal to buy his fund Old Lane think what he could do for our off balance sheet garbage."

Bill Ackman
Forget the fools with a capital F that would pay him fees (2 and 20) to be in a fund that owns 1 position, that being Target, ticker TGT. Did I mention his sophisticated and propriety analysis led to his buying the stock all the way down. Where is Nick Leeson and
Yasuo Hamanaka when you need them? Well, they most probably are on the analysis team at Pershing Square implemented their well honed strategy of averaging losers.

Alex Rodriguez
or A-Rod as he his known in the baseball world. Would you do roids for $45 million contract? Lets face it many out there would.

CNBC anchors
What let down for them yesterday. It was like Toto had finally let them in on the secret the there is no wizard and it was only Tax Cheat Timmy behind the curtain.

Gold and other precious metals.
Could it really become a medium of exchange?

Crude and distillates.
At least with energy (and the precious metals) it cannot be replicated via financial alchemy like so many Dr. Frankensteins on Wall St. dream about.

U.S. Treasury Bonds
At some point does compensation for profligacy becomes visible in yields?

Bill O'Reilly
I must correct you Mr. O'Reilly, many did see "all this" coming, problem is the mass media, both financial and mainstream chose to ignore then ridicule the bloggers, (shoot the messenger approach) rather than examine the message. Also, regarding your comment to Dick Morris the other evening surrounding the discussion that the Japanese tried stimulus leaving them with debt at 180% of GDP with nothing to show, that only he (Mr. Morris) and 3 other Japanese economists know this is either extraordinarily naive or inappropriately sarcastic. And before I forget, tell Laura Ingraham, she of tax cuts and tax credit news would goose the stock market for 1500 pts, that she would fit right in with the instant gratification crowd that inhabits Wall St. and much of the Fortune 500 executive suite and boardrooms.

Lloyd Blankfein
When is someone going to explain to me what he was doing in a closed door meeting, (with no material interest of course!), regarding the bailout of AIG? I am no ethics professor nor do I hold a J.D. but I know conflict of interest when I see it.

Henry Paulson
Has he left for Switzerland yet? Or was it Paraguay?

Housekeeping notes;

I am lowering my stop on AAPL down to $103. 36 from my original $106.36

Good speculating to you all and never forget that "an investor is a speculator who made a mistake and will not admit it".

Open Positions:
Long 2 units Ultrashort MSCI EAFE ticker EFU @ $89.80 stop at $89.80
Long 2 units Ultrashort S&P500 ticker SDS @ $69.80 stop @ $66.15
Long 2 units Ultrashort Real Estate ticker SRS @ $53.80 stop @ $47.18
Long 1 unit US Gasoline fund ticker UGA $21.85 stop @ $20.38
Short 1 unit Wells Fargo ticker WFC @ $20.20 stop @ $20.20
Short 1 unit Apple ticker AAPL @ $102.05 stop at $103.36
Short 1 unit Apollo Group ticker APOL @ $82.95 stop @ $86.32

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