Friday, January 15, 2010

January 15, 2010


MrArbitrage on Wall Street & Intel: "This one goes to eleven"

Marketwatch featured a column today regarding the fall of Intel’s stock price in spite of beating the consensus in a strong quarter. The concern is that although Intel is executing perfectly, they may be “peaking” and there are signs that margins are eroding.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/wall-street-cheers-intels-profit-jump-2010-01-15

The column is full of statements like “analysts had expected…” “analysts currently project…”

There’s the problem right there. Although I’ve been in this industry of “Wall Street” for a long time, it got me thinking - why even have analysts when all of these companies provide such guidance? Who knows better of what to anticipate than the people running the company? And the executives seem to be held to more scrutiny than the analysts. How many Wall Street analysts do you see going away in handcuffs versus CEOs? I laugh when I see the numbers analysts “expect” versus the company guidance because it’s usually within a few cents. I would LOVE to see how FAR OFF Wall Street analysts would be if they were not given guidance from these companies. I would love to see their raw due diligence and how they came to their numbers (I’m smirking).

It’s a farce. I mean, we all know the companies like to under-promise and over-deliver so they can “beat expectations” – but I think we are smart enough to figure that out and just round up a few cents to come up with our own expectations.


It reminds me of a scene from the cult classic film “This is Spinal Tap” where "Nigel", the metal guitarist is showing off his custom Marshall amplifier to the interviewer (played by Rob Reiner). In this scene, Nigel boasts about how most amplifiers only go to 10, while -his- "goes to 11". Reiner asks “Nigel” the question “why not just make 10 louder and make 10 be the top number?” Perplexed, Nigel pauses and answers “but this one goes to 11”. (Here’s the scene if you haven’t seen it.


This scenario is analogous to Wall Street analysis. Why not make the template adjustment to the corporate guidance yourself instead of paying an overpriced analyst’s salary? The answer to this rhetorical question is that they create an illusion of complexity that helps sell their services.

One of the quoted analysts wrote "Although we believe Intel is executing flawlessly, we are seeing several signs of a peak in the stock in terms of gross margins and earnings,.

I wrote a piece eight years ago on Intel that is relevant to this situation:

DATE: 1/16/2002 TITLE: “To the Pollyanalysts” http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16476018 (time-stamped verification)

"Letter to the Analysts":

It's a tragedy that people still listen to you charlatans. Do earnings mean anything to you?
Does market cap mean anything to you?

When a company like Intel has its earnings drop 80% and it is still priced not for perfection as some like to say, but rather for stupidity, what do you do? You stick to your guns in order to save face and declare it a strong buy! It is typical of human nature to mitigate as you do in order to save face; however, it is disgraceful when your saving face is at the expense of millions of people. With INTC currently near its 52 week high and a market cap of about $240 BILLION DOLLARS, Intel will need to reach a market cap of about $1 trillion dollars in order to live up to the premium by which it now trades.


If Intel's near term future was so rosy, they would be increasing capital spending - not decreasing it. They should also be pumping up R&D spending because they are going to need to open new industries if they are going to reach the new highs from here which you predict. The actions of Intel don't seem to match the zeal priced into the stock, after all, as I have been challenged over the past several months for propounding the notion that the nature and history of technology is attrition in profits and margins despite the improvement of technology, the contention was that Intel would spend money fervently in order to create new markets. That was the justification I was given for such an extraordinary premium for diminutive earnings.


It will be absolutely necessary for Intel to re-invent itself to warrant this price because during their glory years, most people didn't yet own computers so naturally sales would be quite strong. It was the same way with automobiles, radios, televisions, VCR's etc.


The Calculator business was once a highly profitable growth industry. Now that so many people already own computers, there needs to be a pretty compelling quantum leap in technology for most people to keep that extraordinary growth rate of the 1990's going.


There is no such incentive at this time. Unfortunately, Intel is priced at the 50% EPS growth rate at this time while growth rates have actually been receding by the double digits! The price doesn't make sense.


I'm not saying that Intel is a bad company. There is nothing wrong with Intel. There is something wrong with Intel's price. I might add that it is through no fault of their own, unless Arthur Andersen is doing their accounting. The current egregious error in Intel's price in my opinion is directly attributable to the charlatanism of the Wall Street analysts coupled with the excessive credulity of the investors and fund managers. I believe we have a castle in the air my friends. Remember $240 BILLION Dollars is a lot of money, even in this day and age. In order to be willing to pay $240 bills for this company, one has to believe that Intel is heading to at least a half of a trillion dollars in market cap while jobs continue to be obliterated...


As I predicted in December, the new wave of cuts are coming after the major new cuts in automotive firings. We are in recession. Unemployment is going to the double digits and there is no compelling technology out there to start a massive wave of upgrades in tech spending.

So, all of you pseudo-analysts out there, sit back and have another hit of the old peace pipe."

In retrospect, not only did people scoff at my Intel price target, they also ridiculed my double digit unemployment prediction.

Contact: mrarbitrage@tableofwisdom.com

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

April 22, 2009

The Diabolical Genius of TARP
by MrArbitrage


David Weidner of www.Markewatch.com wrote a column regarding the issue of banks hoarding the TARP money and not passing it on to consumers in the form of loans. The title of Weidner’s column is “Your credit is no good here”, in which he makes the case of why banks need to pull back from lending.

In his column Weidner points out a strange dichotomy in the position of Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis who has been talking publicly about how they are lending as if the good times never ended. Yet on a recent conference call Lewis said “credit is bad and we believe credit is going to get worse before it will eventually stabilize and improve.” Also on that conference call Lewis described a “deep recession that's going to be here for months.”

Unfortunately it may be here for YEARS thanks to our government prolonging the agony instead of letting nature run its course. It’s funny how much these kooks supposedly believe in “nature” when it comes to their desire of not interfering with the eco-system. If only they could make the correlation between their tampering with the laws of economic nature and realize it is very much analogous to the former.

Weidner wrote that “six months later, it's fair to say TARP has helped prop up some banks, but it hasn't flowed into the consumer credit markets the way the framers intended.”

That’s because those “framers” are blithering idiots at best, otherwise complete scoundrels. Just watch and listen to Chris Dodd and Barney Frank; enough said.

THANK GOD it hasn’t flowed through “the way the framers intended”. It stands to reason that credit would dramatically abate. It’s called going back to generally accepted underwriting procedures. The way these elected swindlers designed TARP was apparently not to fix the problem but rather to keep the Ponzi going until they are dead and gone.

While pondering the question of whether or not banks should open the proverbial spigot, just ask yourself this question: Would I personally make these loans from my own savings account? It’s a great question because under “Obamunism” - if the loans are bad – you are making them.

That’s the diabolical genius of Obama and little Timmy’s (picture Dr’ Evil’s “Mimi-me”) scheme to convert the Preferred Bank Shares to Common stock. It would appear that if they could take control of the management of these institutions by gaining control of the Boards and a large percentage of voting shares, they would essentially be able to engage in the type of reckless spending i.e. wealth re-distribution without having to bother with Congressional approval. It would be a minor technicality that they would be calling the redistribution “loans” instead of “spending”. This new spending could essentially be viewed by the recipients as “forgivable loans”. That’s chicanery at its finest! It would be a lousy deal for shareholders because any profits from the -good loans- made by the bank would be wiped out by all of the bad loans. If these preferred shares do get converted to common, don’t look for much in the way of dividends if you are a shareholder because any “profits” will end up in the hands of organizations favored by the administration that is controlling the Treasury Department. Looked at from this perspective, this would undoubtedly be the biggest bank heist in the history of the world. Instead of the tax-payers getting paid back with the present high yielding Preferred dividends, we will own equity positions in banks that will never pay dividends again as they become a piggy bank for governmental pet projects and corruption.

If you want to see the disingenuous motivation behind their proposal to convert the Preferreds to Common, let’s require that the conversion only take place if 100% of the Common is placed in -private- Social Security accounts for “Generation X” to be systematically divested over the next eight years with all voting rights diluted by the individual recipients of these accounts. (I chose Gen-X because they have paid into SS for decades, will continue to do so to fund the Boomers retirements – but will never receive anything close to what they’ve paid in.) That would take away the true motivation, which is control.

Subsequently, I’ve never heard of anyone converting Preferred stock to Common stock –without- the “convertible” feature being in the Indenture or Prospectus upon issuance. If these shares were indeed convertible, WHY was this considered NEWS as it was a few days ago when the trial balloon was floated?

In his conclusion Mr. Weidner wrote that “taxpayers fuming about the banks' unwillingness to loan government money into the system might reconsider, given that the banks are actually being prudent with taxpayer cash.”

That is absolutely correct; however, one cannot help but wonder what might have been if these prodigals had just returned the capital, all of these trillions of dollars, to its rightful owners, the people who created it. That would have been too radical, too “unfair”. So grab your popcorn, sit back and enjoy the deliberate destruction of western civilization. Don’t forget to thank your treasonous scoundrel in DC and your indoctrinated grandchildren for electing our Hussein.

Contact: mrarbitrage@tableofwisdom.com

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

March 3, 2009


O'Reilly doesn't get it
by MrArbitrage

O'reilly doesn't get it. He's telling Brit Hume that the market pulling back 1,200% must be shaking him up... the American people may turn against him...”

O'Reilly doesn't get the fact that Hussein doesn't CARE. The media have not yet gotten what I've been saying for many months – he WANTS to tear it down. He WANTS to destroy our economy. He WANTS to tear apart our country.

It is not a coincidence that he, from the day he declared his candidacy, has been setting himself up before the nation as a form of Abraham Lincoln. It is marketing expertise. He stood in front of that state house where Lincoln served with a picture of Lincoln behind him as he declared his candidacy. He did so throughout his campaign announcing Biden as his running mate. He did so when he was sworn into office on Lincoln's Bible and even put the same freaking MENU Lincoln had served at his inauguration.

There is much more than symbolism going on here. There is a subliminal thought association game taking place and it isn't because Hussein is a history buff.

Watching the insane legislation he is promulgating and to listen to the fear incitement in his speeches by the deliberate and incessant usage of words like “crisis” and “disaster” - to conclude that he is setting out to do anything other than bring this country to our knees would be an egregious demonstration in credulity.

The Lincoln word association game is planting psychological seeds in the minds of the masses because this guy is so cunning that he is anticipating months or years down the road. By than he will be seen as the “modern Lincoln” and the masses will be convinced of his rectitude as Pavlov's dog is convinced on cue without any rational thought.

This is all unprecedented. He may well be expecting civil war and it looks like he's doing everything he can to prompt states with any ethical standards to secede. The creepy thing is that this year is Lincoln's 200th birthday.

contact: mrarbitrage@tableofwisdom.com

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Devil's in the Details but they don't matter when You've already followed him to Hell

by MrArbitrage

There goes twelve years of gain. This debacle could have been avoided with a dramatic, 25% across the board tax cut with commensurate spending cuts. There is enough pork to accomplish this. Everyone is announcing lay-offs to try to stop the bleeding; where’s the announcement that the IRS will be laying off a percentage of its workforce? If you’ve ever called them to try to fix any of their screw ups, I don’t need to tell you that most of them are useless “dead weight”.

Marketwatch featured a column today referring to this market as a “Darwinian Market”. This isn’t a Darwinian market nor is this a traditional correction. It is more like a Marxist or Stalinist market and the bottom could be zero at the rate this "home grown" economic terrorism is playing out.

I was listening to a Fox News panel this evening as Mara Liasson was critiquing this administration. She was being slightly objective. Her criticism of Obama and Geithner was that they didn't elucidate upon the details as promised because they didn't know what they were themselves. She concluded that "Wall Street" simply "doesn't like uncertainty". I completely disagree with the overall premise. It is true that Wall has never liked uncertainty; however, it is quite erroneous to assert that Wall Street will suddenly be pumped with confidence when Obama and Geithner get more specific on how the bailouts are going to work.

I think the market got the picture late last week when the Obamunist Manifesto was released in its fancy blue book form proclaiming "the new era of responsibility". They say the "Devil's in the details" but details don't matter once the Devil has taken you to hell. The market doesn't like Marxism - no matter how lucid the prospectus.

As a student of market history going back as far as the "South Sea bubble" of the 18th century and the "tulip bulb craze" of 17th century Holland, having been a financial professional through peaks and troughs, I used to have confidence in the market. There was an invariable "reversion to the mean" to which astute investors could look forward.

We have our own Bolshevik revolution taking place. The key ingredient of capitalism is in the process of being eliminated from our equity markets overnight.

What did these people EXPECT would result from stacking the deck with tax cheat scoundrels like the one running the Treasury and plundering the responsible people of this country to bailout the deadbeats????

The Boomers and X’ers have failed. Overcome by selfishness, they have failed as parents by allowing the government school teachers, Ward Churchill and Hollywood to raise their children. All of the sudden, they are in college idolizing communists murderers like Che Guevara and electing Barack Hussein Obama.

Contact: mrarbitrage@TableOfWisdom.com

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Time for Healing? It depends on what their meaning of "healing" is

by MrArbitrage

After 8 years of the venomous vilification of George W. Bush, liberals in the "mainstream" media, some of whom actually called for Bush’s assassination (veiled as a joke) – now say they want a new tone! “It’s time for the healing. they say” How magnanimous.

Marketwatch columnist Marshall Loeb wrote a piece today titled “How Obama Can Inspire a Nation” – in which he offered some suggestions: “The new president may seek to bind up the nation's wounds after a divisive election campaign. Thomas Jefferson, in his first inaugural in 1801, declared of the two major political parties of the time: "Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We are all Republicans. We are all Federalists."

That is a great quote and it was then true as the primary beliefs were the same among most Americans. The differences that currently divide our country are fundamental. To forget about our differences and unite with the left would be a compromise that any God fearing person -who actually believes in the words of the Declaration of Independence- would be unwilling to make. To the left, the word “Creator”, the One from Whom our inalienable rights were endowed is just an affectation, an inconvenience that they would expunge like the 10 Commandments from an Alabama courthouse and our children’s classroom walls - if they could. In the midst of all the sophistry, they want us to forget who they actually are and from whom they take their orders (ACLU).

I –want - to support Obama because he is the President and quite a charming, affable one at that. However, despite the elegant rhetoric, if he actually does the things he has said he is going to do policy wise, he must be regarded as far from a true friend of liberty as he and his party have for the last 45 years labored to subvert the great pillars of this country expatiated in Washington’s Farewell Address (co-written by the great Hamilton).

It cannot be genuinely stated (reminiscent of Jefferson’s quote) that today “we are all Democrats. We are all Republicans”. To say so would be delusional. Our foundation, our worldviews are polar opposites. We are as two different countries from two different continents.

If reconciliation and “healing” means that I must allow the government to teach my children their brand of “tolerance”, if it means that I must stand by and let these people make a mockery of the institution of marriage – if it means that I must give approbation to the millions of innocent human lives being taken with the sanction of our federal government or the harvesting of human embryos for demented "scientific" experiments, then may God Strike me dead before I ever have the chance to make so egregious a compromise.

It would be better that they tie a millstone around my neck and to be thrown into the ocean than to cause even one of God's children to stumble.

I'm concerned as I hear Christian leaders handle this important subject because there will be a time when even the very elect will be decived. They are acting as though we don't have a clue what he's going to do. I have heard many say that he's our President and we need to pray for him.

As a Christian, I am and will be praying for President Obama. I will be praying that God will not allow him to do the things to this country that he has already promised that he would do.

If Obama is able to fulfill his campaign promises, I am praying that God will have mercy upon us and deliver us from this evil.

This past Sunday was “Sanctity of Life Sunday,” a day in which we prayed for God's mercy on us for the now 50 million innocent human beings whose blood is on our hands. When put into that perspective it testifies to God's mercy and patience. How reasonable is it to expect MORE patience from God, especially when we have a new President who has pledged to expand the atrocities through stem cell research.

It's a sick world out there and I get the feeling that Christian leaders are obtuse to the notion that maybe, just maybe God as he did with his CHOSEN PEOPLE Israel – has handed us over to our enemies. I certainly pray not but time will tell.

Contact: mrarbitrage@tableofwisdom.com

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

February 13, 2008

China's Accounting: The Next Debacle?
by MrArbitrage

Speaking of China, I’m going to tell you now, long before all the media experts tell you that - THEY – “told you so first”. China is a ticking ACCOUNTING time bomb. You think we’ve had accounting scandals, wait till you get a load of China.

Within the next few months to a year, sagacious media “experts” will be telling you about how the warning signs were on the wall well in advance - as we saw how these Chinese companies were all to willing to sell our children toys with toxic paint in order to make a few extra bucks. They will bring up the thousands of houses in the USA that are now vacant as they were found to have toxic Chinese paint all over the walls, making their former inhabitants ill.

The “experts” will tell you how that was a portent of things to come. After all, if they are willing to sell you toxic toys and house paint - why should you trust the integrity of their balance sheets and income statements???

The Chinese government is either ignorant or complicit; either way common sense says that something isn’t right. I find it difficult to believe that the chi-com government doesn’t regulate enough.

Remember the 90’s? How did the mafia make fortunes pumping bogus stocks? They knew from the beginning that their companies they pumped and dumped were bogus. They knew their schemes couldn’t last forever. They knew they would suck so much money out of people that it wouldn’t matter by the time everyone caught on. They would be set for life. I’m talking about a brutal regime that as recently as in 1996 was selling the organs of their political prisoners to finance the Red Army. I don’t think they would have any qualms about doing the largest pump and dump in history to suck the money out of their old buddies the USA.

The communist Chinese government is not our friend and they never will be. We have been duped. We have financed their regime and the joke is on us. By the way, is it still legal for me to say negative things about communists in the USA?

I just thought I’d share this with you now in case you are long Chinese securities. If you read TableOfWisdom.com, you get these kinds of tid bits at a time when the analysis is actually useful or “actionable” as opposed to reading the many journalists who ruminate on them after all hell has broken loose and it is too late.

I don’t know if China will be the NEXT financial debacle – because our government and their cronies are doing a fine job creating so many here – but I believe China will a fairly near term disaster.

Contact: Mrarbitrage@TableOfWisdom.com