Thursday, April 30, 2009

quote of the week

When refering to Chrysler's Bankruptcy the big O had this to say, "This is not a sign of weakness but rather one more step on a clearly chartered path to Chrysler's revival."

Not a sign of weakness? That's confusing, I thought only those who couldnt meet their obligations filed for Chapter 11 restructuring. Nobody told me that it meant a clearly chartered path towards revival. Well, now I know.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Unique Place

Here are some interesting economical things I learned while in Ireland (Quick Version)
- Their equivalant to our sales tax (VAT tax) is 21.5% in the Republic of Ireland and 15% in Northern Ireland. No property tax. Highest incomce tax rate in the UK is now 50%, 35% in the Republic of Ireland.

-Outstanding public facilities (train stations, airport, buses, libraries, etc..) with plenty of ongoing building in downtown areas.

-Belfast is a ticking time bomb ready to send the country back to the 1980's. The relgious divide is apparent in N. Ireland and it is going to come to a boiling point soon according to many of the people I spoke with.

-Despite the tensions between the Protestants and Catholics, many Catholics prefer to remain a part of the UK and fear the economic change that would accompany succession.

-Outside of the main cities, Dublin & Belfast, most of the communities are either self sustained (inland) or are focused around the tourist industry (Coastal Regions).

-Sadly fly fishing is not very popular in Ireland. There are a few die hard old timers, but fishing is looked on as a means to an end, not as a hobby.

-There are a lot of Polish people in Ireland. They mostly came over as mushroom pickers in the 1970's and 1980's and were once considered the gypsy class of Ireland, living out of caravans (motorhomes). Now they are accepted as a part of the Irish working class population.Very similar to the Mexican population in California.

-Polish is the #2 language in Ireland, ahead of Gaelic and behind English.

-Ford has a strong presence in Ireland. GM, although I did see a dealership, I didnt see any of their cars on the road.

...To be continued.....maybe....

Halfway there...

Ken Lewis was removed as Chairman of BofA's Board of directors today. It looks like he will remain in the CEO position until the rest of the crap hits the fan.

February 22nd...Can someone please tell me why Ken Lewis is still employed?

I guess the stockholders are wondering that same question.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Obama & Chavez

Is this a sign of the times to come? I am afraid it is.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ireland Trip

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Dublin Trip

This is going to be a good week!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Gloomy Travel day

Airport is empty on Good Friday!?. That's not normal. According to the admirals club, membership is way down from last year. Businesses are not renewing their sales reps accounts. Makes me wonder why they raised the annual fee.

Off to Dublin!

Relevant- 1934 Comic

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

GM & Chrysler Can't Cover Invoices

More money to GM, Chrysler
Today the shares of the auto parts suppliers rose dramatically. I thought that was weird because of the state of the industry, so I started to dig through headlines to see why. What I found was that the government has ‘pledged’ $5 billion in guarantees to the auto parts manufacturers for any parts shipped to GM or Chrysler after March 19, 2009. Where does the $5 billion come from you ask? Well, GM & Chrysler borrowed it from the government in the form of a line of credit.

It’s funny the way the news and the Treasury are reporting this. They call it a “supplier support program”. In actuality, GM & Chrysler couldn’t afford to pay their AR, so they borrowed from the government credit line to cover their outstanding invoices.

The total amount of loans for GM & Chrysler YTD =$17.4 Billion!

Bank Stress Tests---Fail?

Today Reuters is reporting that the results of the stress tests preformed on the financial institutions would not be released until after earning season.

Would the administration delay the results if the stress test results were positive? Probably not

The Treasury Dept. says it wants to “avoid complicating stock market reaction.” In other words, our banking system is shit. In delaying the results the Treasury Dept. is trying to avoid a dramatic drop in banking shares. The release of bad quarterly numbers and the poor stress test results would negatively affect the stocks of the banking industry, and in turn, the overall market.

So much for transparency.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Gov't Backed Auto Warranties- Ha Friggin Ha

Baseball is Here

Opening day is today (actually yesterday).
My Picks:

AL Champ: New York Yankees
NL Champ: Chicago Cubs

Teams to watch this year: Billy Beane's Oakland A's & Atlanta Braves

Disappointments this year: Anaheim Angels & NY Mets

N. Korea calls bluff

We threatened, they prepared their rockets, we threatened again, they launched their rockets, we whine and go away.

Last week North Korea launched a LCBM that flew over Japan and crashed into the Pacific Ocean 1300 miles from the launch site. I recall them saying that the launch was in order to send a satellite into orbit, hmmm....ocean satellites, I thought those were called buoys. Needless to say our allies in the region are scared S****less about living next to a mad man that has the capability to deliver A-bombs via airmail.

After the launch the world went into a panic. The end result.....the UN won't even issue a "preliminary" statement of condemnation.

...meanwhile in Obama fantasy land....
A nuclear free world is on the agenda for the week. Hmmmm. If we cant stop Iran from developing a nuclear warhead, what makes him think we could take it away once it is built?

Politically Polarized

So basically if you are a Democrat, you still have "hope". If you are a Republican, the writing is on the wall.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Who is buying this stock? & Why?

GM up 8.29% today despite the impending BK. Do people see value in the BK? I just don't get it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

GM- Doomed

Bankruptcy Awaits...Here is the latest news on the GM debacle.

-Bloomberg reports that GM & the other car makers posted smaller than expected sales numbers for the month of March.
-In an effort to increase sales numbers the same automakers spent a record amount of incentive programs to lure in customers. (Lets see, higher marketing costs & lower sales revenue, hmm...)
-CEO Obama says that there will be no financial support for GM for their June 1st debt payments. (1 Billion at 1.5%)

Newsflash- The UAW needs to make some sacrifices and for some reason they won't come to the table. It makes no sense to me. The UAW has two options, make concessions while they have some political capital with the Democratically controlled DC crew, or sit in front of a BK judge who will take a proverbial weed whacker to the union contracts.