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Sunday, February 28, 2010

At least 56 people died from Toyota accleration problems


At least 56 people have died in U.S. traffic accidents in which sudden unintended acceleration of Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles has been alleged, according to complaints filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, lawsuits and police and state highway patrol reports. Some of the victims' names are unknown because NHTSA did not disclose them and they could not be confirmed through other sources. A Toyota spokesman declined to comment, saying the company does not discuss cases in which litigation has been, or could be, filed.

The fatalities links (or lawsuit primer) is here

Medivation's option premiums

Medivation has some phase III trial results coming in the first half of this year for their Alzheimer drug.

When will the results come out?

The CEO, David Hung said in an interview with Mike Huckman of CNBC, that it will be the first half of this year. See 1:57 into the interview.


Mike Huckman "First half of this year. What about March?"

David Hung, "Ah we stuck to our first half as guidance."

The option premiums are pricing in news before March expiration. Is that a good bet? Maybe not.

The stock is at 36, and the March 25 puts are 3, and the March 55 calls are $3.

Obviously, the option market is skewed bullishly towards the stock.

So timid bulls can sell the puts to collect the premium, if they believe the CEO won't report results before March expiration.

Or the bulls can collect the premiums on the calls, if they don't expect news in the next three weeks.

Or you can buy and write, and collect a rich premium.

And leave the upside for someone else!

Tebow has springs

At the NFL combine:

38.5" vertical jump
9'7" long jump.
4.7 40-yard dash

Obviously he isn't suffering from weak legs.

But  then, he wasn't abstaining from just the night before!

Atrium windows collapse at Sony party--Snooki's 15 minutes still isn't up

The gods didn't approve Sony's Purim costume party.

An atrium weighed down with snow and ice collapsed Saturday during a ritzy midtown party showering hundreds of revelers with glass, cops and witnesses said.

The guests, including members of MTV's reality show "Jersey Shore," were celebrating Purim inside Sony Plaza on Madison Ave. near E. 55th St. shortly after 11 p.m., police and witnesses said.

"It was scary, but I'm glad nobody got hurt," said MTV reality star Snooki, who was with her boyfriend, Emilio Masella.


-----
(Really? Watch the lawsuits come out of the woodwork Monday!)

SocGen:Germany's hyperinflation and popular delusions

Germany's Hyperinflation (SocGen)                                                                   

Labor Shortgage in China

NYT
GUANGZHOU, China — Just a year after laying off millions of factory workers, China is facing an increasingly acute labor shortage.

As American workers struggle with near double-digit unemployment, unskilled factory workers here in China’s industrial heartland are being offered signing bonuses.

Factory wages have risen as much as 20 percent in recent months.

Telemarketers are turning away potential customers because recruiters have fully booked them to cold-call people and offer them jobs.

Some manufacturers, already weeks behind schedule because they can’t find enough workers, are closing down production lines and considering raising prices. Such increases would most likely drive up the prices American consumers pay for all sorts of Chinese-made goods.
----------------

But Jim Chanos will tell you China is Dubai 1000 times!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Goldman Sachs: 2011 profits will match 2007's peak

But they also forecast $96 oil in just six months????

US Weekly Kickstart February 26, 2010 (Goldman Sachs)                                                              

Nigerian dumps once every seven weeks

The rest of the time he just passes gas!

Must be a shortseller!!

Story:
SANUSi Ibrahim, age 46, foes to the toilet once in every seven weeks. No, he does soil himself. He just has no need to go. As Nigeria’s Sun newspaper tells us:
Tall, lanky, active and friendly Sanusi Ibrahim, 46, is telling anybody who cares to listen with pride that he does not excrete as they do. That he is at home with any kind of consumable food he chooses to ingest at anytime of the day. Sanusi says he could demolish double the ratio his contemporaries devour:
“I don’t tolerate hunger for one moment. That’s why I ensure that there’s always something edible by my side even when I am not at home.”
He’s a marvel:
But there is another oddity peculiar to Sanusi. The smelly, gaseous air content he discharges in quick succession everyday leaves him as a man whose rate of flatulence is unequalled.
Says he:
“Instead of going to toilet, I just find solace in passing out very, very loud and offensive gas, one round after another for some moments in order to get a relief. I do this at my convenient time and location without causing discomfort to people around me.
“That’s why if I am together with you and you see me moving away, don’t complain because it’s in your own interest. I do that, else you regret being near me.
“I pass excreta once in seven weeks or thereabout and this is not causing me to fall ill at all. And after all this long time when the shit comes, it is as short as my index finger, only that it is very fat and as hard as a stone. That is the cause of my predicament, because it pains me while passing through my anus. The symptom of its arrival is also a very painful feeling at my two upper ribs. Whenever it is two days for me to start feeling like going to the toilet, my two ribs will begin to pain me. It is as painful as labour of a pregnant woman because within the period, I will almost lose my senses.”
Senses?
“That is why sometime, in spite of the pain I go through in my ribs, I defer going to toilet for as long as two days until it goes beyond my control. And in most cases, even my family members do not witness when I go to toilet. I have it as a habit to go to a distant place away from the city to excrete so that I can see what exactly comes out of my stomach. But nothing seems to be different all these years.”
Prunes?
“My problem started since my secondary school days when I was about 17 years of age during the middle years of my schooling. It started with the same symptom I pass through and the same type of excreta I discharge. Since then, I have never suffered from any ailment, although some people are insinuating that it is a problem from some evil spirit (jinn).
“As for the treatment, I have gone to the hospital several times. I have seen various medical doctors, Mallams and traditional healers, all to no avail. As a matter of fact, I am only bothered with this problem because of the pains I go through whenever I go to the toilet. It is not because I don’t go to toilet like other people do.”
What about sex?
“What? That is where you don’t know my hidden wonders. In fact, my financial constraint is the only reason why I am not having four wives. But naturally I am too much for one.”

More spying in the classroom

"A lot of kids are just on it to check their hair, check their make-up: the girls... They don't even realize that we are watching. I always like to mess with them and take a picture."



WTF???

link

Ice T's wife's butt--Not safe for MySpace!


This pic of Ice T's wife Coco was too racy for MySpace and then taken down.

So should these pictures of Gisele Bundchen then be taken down also?

It's MySpace's version of the Brady rule!

And now that Britney Spears is on her meds again, Coco has further competition in the crack area!

Berkshire Shareholder letter

In my view a board of directors of a huge financial institution is derelict if it does not insist that its CEO bear full responsibility for risk control. If he’s incapable of handling that job, he should look for other employment. And if he fails at it – with the government thereupon required to step in with funds or guarantees – the financial consequences for him and his board should be severe.

It has not been shareholders who have botched the operations of some of our country’s largest financial institutions. Yet they have borne the burden, with 90% or more of the value of their holdings wiped out in most cases of failure. Collectively, they have lost more than $500 billion in just the four largest financial fiascos of the last two years. To say these owners have been “bailed-out” is to make a mockery of the term.

The CEOs and directors of the failed companies, however, have largely gone unscathed. Their fortunes may have been diminished by the disasters they oversaw, but they still live in grand style. It is the behavior of these CEOs and directors that needs to be changed: If their institutions and the country are harmed by their recklessness, they should pay a heavy price – one not reimbursable by the companies they’ve damaged nor by insurance. CEOs and, in many cases, directors have long benefitted from oversized financial carrots; some meaningful sticks now need to be part of their employment picture as well.

Berkshire Letter 2009                                                              

Youths with guns in Rio


The Corner of Fear in Rio, where gun kids pull out guns to clear paths for their motorcycles.

8.8 earthquake in Chile

Friday, February 26, 2010

Gatorade completely drops Tiger Woods

Goldman positive on JPM

Check out page 27.

And then ask the bears what their bearish thesis was again!!!

And pimp it, because I bought JPM calls yesterday!!
gs main 0226                                                            

Another controversy! Athletes smoking cigars and drinking beer!

Oh My! The sacred Olympics are being defiled!

Canada's ladies win the gold medal in hockey, and the IOC is bent out of shape over a little beer and a few cigars?

Give me a break!

Look at the IOC

"If they celebrate in the changing room, that's one thing, but not in public. We will investigate what happened."

They'll probably want a web cam to watch them in the training room!

Just in case they see something!

AIG needs more money??!?!?!?!

Are you kidding me?

Who in the f*%# at AIG is selling the swaps to the Investment Banks that they are always losing their a$$ on?

What kind of criminal enterprise is going on there??

Now they may need more assistance from the taxpayer?

Allianz dumps stocks, buys parking meters

Feb. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Allianz SE, Europe’s biggest insurer, is putting more money into investments ranging from wind parks in northern France to parking meters in Chicago as it cuts stock holdings in a search for predictable returns.

Isn't that special? The bears at Allianz are so so afraid of stocks that they investing in parking meters!

Do you want to know I think about that strategy?

Its the same as in college. You piss on it! That's what I used to do!

Today, we hear about these big snowstorms. Well, in college, parking used to be free. Until they put up parking meters. So in the sub zero freezing cold of January in Wisconsin, in the frozen middle of the night I'd dress up in my parka, and then go out and pee on the base of the parking meters.

And then, I would viciously rock and shake the meter until I would crack the steel at the bottom.

I would then run home with the meter under my arm, and then throw it down the basement steps, about a dozen times or so, until it cracked open.

We'd then have pizza, paid for with dimes.

After the meter would be emptied, I would take it back and throw it outside Chancellor Frank Horton's doors. One day, after seeing parking meters disappear he thought he was going to be a superhero, and he was waiting for me, and he opened up the door when I was about 100' away. So I just put the meter over my head and charged him like a lunatic. He ran back into the office. I hit the door with the meter, and then ran like hell to get home before he could the campus police showed up.

The thrown parking meter at the door convinced the university to let up, and the parking by the chancellors office remained free.  (And that lot was only targeted because it was right next to the gym, and I didn't want my training partners to have to pay for parking, and it was close enough to home, so I could run away in case I was spotted.) At least for the year. And my student "protest" paid for pizza.


So now Allianz is so afraid of stocks that they need to buy parking meters?

What overpaid bureaucrat investment manager came up with that strategy?

Probably one that wants to be a University Chancellor!

LA to sell the Ronald Reagan building

Deficts? California protests? No problem!

Just cozy up to Obama, and then start selling assets.

It's California's version of the yard sale!

And isn't that how Wall Street works?

Meredith Whitney always mentioned these yard sales.

Except on these yard sales, everyone shows up! And they bring cash. And lots of it!

California will pay $12.2 million a year in rent, for the next 20 years for the Ronald Reagan building, and then CA will retire $1.35 billion of bonds that were going to be used to build further office building that won't be needed because of the yard sales.

And the deep pocketed real estate investors will buy the properties from the State of California at th ebottom of the cycle, and of course, when times get good, CA will buy back the properties when the prices are much higher!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Time to go long the Euro

Look at this article in the WSJ.  All the smart money boys have gotten together, and decided to raid the euro:

WSJ
Some heavyweight hedge funds have launched large bearish bets against the euro in moves that are reminiscent of the trading action at the height of the U.S. financial crisis.

The big bets are emerging amid gatherings such as an exclusive "idea dinner" earlier this month that included hedge-fund titans SAC Capital Advisors LP and Soros Fund Management LLC. During the dinner, hosted by a boutique investment bank at a private townhouse in Manhattan, a small group of all-star hedge-fund managers argued that the euro is likely to fall to "parity"—or equal on an exchange basis—with the dollar, people close to the situation say.

The currency wagers signal that big financial players spot a rare trading opening driven by broader market gyrations. The euro, which traded at $1.51 in December, now trades around $1.35. With traders using leverage—often borrowing 20 times the size of their bet, accentuating gains and losses—a euro move to $1 could represent a career trade. If investors put up $5 million to make a $100 million trade, a 5% price move in the right direction doubles their initial investment.

It is impossible to calculate the precise effect of the elite traders' bearish bets, but they have added to the selling pressure on the currency—and thus to the pressure on the European Union to stem the Greek debt crisis.....

On Jan. 28 and 29, analysts from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. took a group of investors on a field trip to meet with banks in Greece. The group included representatives from about a dozen different money managers, say attendees, including Chicago hedge-fund giant Citadel Investment Group, the New York hedge fund Eton Park Capital Management, and Paulson, which sent two employees, say people who were there. Eton Park declined to comment.

During meetings with the Greek deputy finance minister and executives from the National Bank of Greece, among other banks, some investors raised tough questions about the state of the country's economy, according to these people.
----------------
Thus the stories of Greece. Oh my. Make Greece falter, then make Spain, then Portugal, and then get Goldman Sachs to help pimp the trade, and the swaps will widen on the countries currency, and the euro will puke.

Or so they say. Those who also predicted the worldwide Great Depression II!

But the euro has puked already! So now it's heading to parity?

Give me a break!

If the WSJ already has the story, isn't it already in prices?

And doesn't it mean they have already laid out their bets? At 20-1 leverage, and much higher?

All, I can tell you, is that the stock market is ready to explode upwards. And if this market is ready to rock, it means that the dollar will weaken against the euro, because that's the game plan that the desks use. And if the euro strengthens, these masters of the universe will have to cover.

And if this is activity that is reminiscent of the peak in the financial crisis, doesn't that mean we are ready for another reversal of fortune?


Look at the action in gold. Hasn't that linkage been broken? How about a chart?

So go short the euro. Go and pound it. Go hit it. Go leverage yourself to the gills and try and bust it. Go spread you stories. In fact, why dion't you go to hell while you're at it!

Because if you follow their footsteps, you'll get burned!

Because these schysters need to cover and that's why they're advertising the trade!!

Pick your Wall Street bear



Looks like it morphed into this!
Bears on the run, AGAIN!!!!!

Shark aquarium in Dubai Mall cracks


Here's the link to the video.

Anyone in Dubai skipping on maintenance?

Crack ... water pours out of aquarium

Unions and Government jobs facing populist backlash

Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Move over, investment bankers. The next victims of populist backlash are going to be state- and local-government workers.

As usual, it’s all about the numbers, except this time we’re not talking about dollars in a bonus check. No, this time it’s about numbers of jobs.

Businesses have fired 8.5 million people, or 7.4 percent of those on the payroll when employment peaked in December 2007. Local governments kept hiring through September 2008, and since then have fired 141,000 workers, less than 1 percent of the 14.6 million they had at the top, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics......

Unlike the outrage provoked by Wall Street’s bonus babies, there’s no element of class warfare here. The hard-working men and women whose jobs, retirement savings and benefits have been whittled away in the recession won’t be too sympathetic to the men and women who have eight-hour days, overtime pay, guaranteed pensions and full health plans.

13 months ago, Obama signed executive orders unionizing the Feds:

President Barack H. Obama signed three executive orders during a ceremony at the White House on January 30, 2009: Economy in Government Contracting, Nondisplacement of Qualified Workers under Service Contracts, and Notification of Employee Rights under Federal Law. The three executive orders focus on federal contractors, but the pro-labor slant of the President's action signals a dramatic shift in labor policy at the highest levels of the federal government. In announcing the executive orders, Mr. Obama said, "I ... believe that we have to reverse many of the policies towards organized labor that we've seen these last eight years, policies with which I've sharply disagreed. I do not view the labor movement as part of the problem, to me it's part of the solution...."

Yesterday, Obama told the Business RoundTable that he was "an ardent believer in the free market." In other words, he wasn't as Fox news intimated, (but not Bill O'Reilly) a socialist.


Greece is trying to get its fiscal house in order, but its met by work strikes and increasing anarchy.

Pretty soon people here will connect the dots.

Is Greece the Tip of the Iceberg? (Wells Fargo Securities)                                                                   

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

SeaWorld's Killer Whale

Here's the video and whale right before it attacked. It's the killer whale's 3rd victim.
Victim ... Dawn seconds before attack

Vince Carter 86' shot sitting on the floor!

Gartman and Rosie's latest

022410                                                            

Breakfast With Dave February 24, 2010 (David Rosenberg)

Bears will soon need a new occupation!!

Ron Paul's bizarre tit for tat with Bernanke

Bernanke knocks out Ron Paul with just one word''"Bizarre."

Bernanke and the man above, both had the same look!

What does a million dollar engagement ring to Hilary Duff get you?



The proposal by Edmontonton Oiler Mike Comrie



Hilary Duff's freakout



The requisite twitter picture send



And ahem...priceless!

But if you really want a closeup......

of the ring, that is!

The plane boneyard

 
 
Remeber when these planes meant something?
(From Richard Russell's market letter yesterday)

When America was united and never gave a thought to making sacrifices. Below we see General Jimmy Doolittle thanking the thousands of employees at North American Aviation for their tremendous and tireless efforts. In the center we see a B-25 Mitchell medium bomber, which was my baby during the War. The people you see in this amazing photo, men and women, black and white and whatever, came from all over America. Many quit other jobs to build the planes that helped us win the war. Nobody talked or complained about sacrifices, even though many worked all night, three shifts, 24 hours a day. There were no comfy hours, they just built 'em.


Doolittle led the first bombing raid on Japan, and he did it with B-25s. (Photo credit, Reddie Archives, Bomber Legends)


The plane boneyard is the Davis-Monthan Air Force base from Google Earth.

That's where you get your spare parts.

If it looks familiar, you've watched Transformers!

(filming was also done at Tinker Air Force base)

GE's wind turbines

 
100 tons blowing in the winds!

Hu of China is pledging to use green energy, and last week,we had this news:

China has opened the door to domestic wind power companies to begin developing the country’s offshore resources – but has effectively shut it on international operators – with the release of regulations governing approval and ownership of offshore wind projects....

The new offshore regulation does not overtly prohibit foreign involvement in project development. But it does require foreign companies to enter into a Chinese-controlled joint venture and it limits equity ownership to less than 50%. “In reality, most of the international developers cannot, or are not willing to, do a joint venture with [a] Chinese partner,” Qiao said.

Last week, I touted APWR. It has gotten some better action the last few days.

It's volatile. You have a short position of 25% of the stock, but GE and China are both working with the company.