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Archive for May, 2010

Memorial Day 2010: Be a Hero!!

Posted by Larry Doyle on May 31st, 2010 9:39 AM |

Our country is filled with heroes.

Today we remember those individuals who have given their lives so we could be free. These men and women are true heroes. Interestingly enough, though, these fallen brothers and sisters of ours would not see themselves as heroes but just as citizens of this great land who were called to duty and gave of themselves. They gave so much and made the ultimate sacrifice in the process. Does our nation as a whole fully appreciate and embrace their sacrifice? Sometimes I wonder.

I firmly believe the economic challenges we face currently are correlated with the lack of appreciation we have allowed to develop for those who sacrificed for us. How can we regenerate that undying sense of patriotism and love?

On this Memorial Day 2010, how then can we best honor the real heroes who have given everything they had for us? Let us not merely pause and reflect but let us truly take action. What kind of action? Give. The greatest gift you can give is the gift of yourself. While many view giving in terms of resources, the greatest gift one can give is the gift of your time and talents.

Find the opportunity to give of your time and your talents within your homes, your neighborhoods, your communities. In the midst of your barbecues, pool parties, and picnics, think about how you can create an opportunity to make our nation just a little bit better by giving of yourself. In the process, you will be paying the ultimate respect to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us.

As inspiration for your giving and for being a true hero yourself, please consider this short video:

God Bless America!!! Yes, God, the one who gave his only Son so we could be saved.

We need more giving in our world. Let it be you. Let it start today. Be a hero!


Taxes, Taxes, Taxes…

Posted by Larry Doyle on May 28th, 2010 10:38 AM |

Uncle Sam wants your money. In fact, Uncle Sam needs your money. How is he going to get it? Any way he can.

Thank you to a loyal Sense on Cents reader for sharing more details about one of life’s two great certainties and how increased taxes will be coming your way. These details are highlighted in a recently released Credit Suisse research piece, Washington Notes:

While many questions have been raised about the ability of the Administration and Congress to find funding for the new initiatives, it is clear that a reduction in current spending alone will not be enough to cover new programs and therefore it will be necessary for the President and Congressional Democrats to rely heavily on increasing taxes. (more…)

Jeff Gundlach Provides Sense on Cents

Posted by Larry Doyle on May 28th, 2010 7:04 AM |

Sense on Cents is all about helping people understand risk. Would you know risk if and when you see it? How would you handle risk? Are there enormous hidden risks in the markets and economy today?

Jeff Gundlach, CEO and CIO of Doubleline, is an expert on assessing and managing risk. Thanks to a loyal Sense on Cents reader for sharing video clips from discussions Jeff Gundlach recently had with Morningstar’s Jason Stipp.

I guarantee you in the course of ten minutes and in reviewing four clips (European crisis, deflation, credit spreads, too big to fail asset managers) of Jeff Gundlach, you will be more well informed and prepared to effectively navigate the economic landscape.

1. DoubleLine CEO, CIO, and portfolio manager Jeffrey Gundlach says the European debt crisis is not close to being 50% priced into the market yet.

2. DoubleLine CEO, CIO, and portfolio manager Jeffrey Gundlach says deflationary forces of excessive debt remain the most important factor in the market today. (Video clip here)

3. DoubleLine CEO, CIO, and portfolio manager Jeffrey Gundlach says the covenants protecting investors have eroded very quickly in recent bond issuances, which will sow the seeds for bigger default problems and weaker performance in the future. (Video clip here)

4. DoubleLine CEO, CIO, and portfolio manager Jeffrey Gundlach says if Citigroup was too big to fail, then so much greater is the risk for asset managers operating with multiples of that market cap. (Video clip here)

Thanks again to Bud for sharing these clips of the top fixed income manager in the markets today, Doubleline’s Jeff Gundlach.


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Pequot’s Samberg Deserves Hard Time in the Sin Bin for Insider Trading

Posted by Larry Doyle on May 27th, 2010 12:48 PM |

Justice not properly dispensed is ultimately justice denied. Regrettably this reality happens all too often in our country. For whatever reason, white collar crime in general and financial crimes specifically are all too often adjudicated by the imposition of fines. I think this is wrong.

I see this reality playing out yet again in a story just released by Bloomberg, Pequot, Samberg Pay $28 Million to End Insider-Trading Probe,

Pequot Capital Management Inc. and the hedge-fund firm’s founder, Arthur Samberg, will pay almost $28 million to settle regulatory claims they illegally tapped information from a Microsoft Corp. employee to bet on the software maker’s stock. (more…)

Will Miami Declare Bankruptcy?

Posted by Larry Doyle on May 27th, 2010 11:34 AM |

Are the ‘waves’ of municipal debt breaking on Miami about to overwhelm the city and force it to declare bankruptcy? Do not rule it out. If Miami goes this route, will that cause a domino effect for other municipalities around the country, including Los Angeles?

The risk of bankruptcy is very real. Thanks to a loyal Sense on Cents reader for bringing the impending financial doom in Miami to our attention. While municipal finances in our country encompass a whole set of issues, a common denominator is the crush of pension liabilities accrued by unions. (more…)

Consumer Metrics Institute: Double Dip Mild, but Prolonged

Posted by Larry Doyle on May 27th, 2010 6:54 AM |

Is the economy slipping into a double dip or has it already slipped and we just need to wait a few months for the mainstream media to hopefully report on it?

Clearly, our domestic and global economies are very fluid and subject to serious fluctuations given the massive amount of government intervention, but where can we go to receive a real-time look at the economy?

Let’s review the work of Sense on Cents Hall of Famer Rick Davis of Consumer Metrics Institute. Recall that Rick and his colleagues capture and review a wealth of consumer retail data across ten sectors of our economy on a ‘real time’ basis. While analysts are downstream assessing developments with production, Rick and team are way upstream assessing what the consumers are doing NOW. Current consumer activity is highly correlated with GDP out 17-18 weeks. Yes, we are getting a sneak peek at next quarter’s GDP now. Amazing stuff.

What does Rick see and what does he project? Let’s navigate. (more…)

Should AIG Units Be Placed into Bankruptcy?

Posted by Larry Doyle on May 26th, 2010 3:17 PM |

Our financial regulators, government officials, and central bankers may believe the shell game being played with AIG might work to lure buyers into the AIG den but the fact is AIG remains the institutional equivalent of  ‘dead man walking.’

Who gets that and is not reluctant to speak her mind? Tarp watchdog and consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren. Her courage on this topic is on display today while AIG chairman Robert Benmosche would like to continue to shuffle the shells around in an attempt to continue to play the game. (more…)

Financial Times Highlights Great American Joe Saluzzi

Posted by Larry Doyle on May 26th, 2010 12:31 PM |

Confidence in the markets and the economy is ultimately a function of truth, transparency, and integrity.

The reason global investors have such little confidence currently is due to the very simple fact that both the financial industry and their government counterparts have not promoted practices which embrace these cherished principles.

That is not to say that each and every individual in the financial industry or in government does not try to promote these values. In fact, I believe the overwhelming majority of people on Wall Street and in the global markets do embrace these values, but they are not in a position to speak out when the principles are violated. I love it when I come across people who possess the courage and are unencumbered to speak out for the truth, transparency, and integrity our markets, our country, and our world so badly need. Like who? (more…)

Consumer Protection or Big Brother is Watching

Posted by Larry Doyle on May 26th, 2010 11:30 AM |

I am all for financial regulatory reform, but as I wrote the other day I do not trust Washington. I witness further reason not to trust the wizards in Washington after reviewing a gem buried in the Senate’s version of financial regulatory reform.

You likely will not see this in the mainstream media, but thanks to CNS News for reporting Senate Democrats Pass Bill Allowing Government to Collect Addresses, ATM Records of Bank Customers:

Senate Democrats united to pass a financial regulatory bill that allows the government to collect data on any person operating in financial markets at any level, including the collection of personal transaction records from local banks that list customers’ addresses and ATM receipts. (more…)

The Muammar Gaddafi of Regulation

Posted by Larry Doyle on May 26th, 2010 9:14 AM |

Does anybody still read Time magazine?

I would expect that Time is likely now relegated to 9th grade Civics classrooms given the depth of reporting embodied in the recent cover article, The New Sheriffs of Wall Street.

If Time would like to be considered a serious publication, they should dig a little deeper prior to reporting this sort of powder puff commentary. Time rightfully does address the fact that Wall Street has been a bastion of male domination. Additionally, they pay proper respect to FDIC Chair Sheila Bair and Tarp watchdog and consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren, but they fall woefully short in their characterization and review of SEC Chair Mary Schapiro.

In this article, Schapiro would clearly like to portray herself as tough as nails on Wall Street while protecting the interests of investors. As Time highlights: (more…)

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