iBankCoin
18 years in Wall Street, left after finding out it was all horseshit. Founder/ Master and Commander: iBankCoin, finance news and commentary from the future.
Joined Nov 10, 2007
15,580 Blog Posts

A Burgeoning Growth Engine for Costco: Wanton Alcoholism

Costco has to be the single best retail business in the world. A new Costco just opened in area and I signed up for their ‘executive’ membership card, which is something that I feel wholly ridiculous — but I did so nevertheless.

In order to attain the privilege of shopping there, customers must pay an annual fee. In an era where every retailer is tripping over themselves to attract customers, this concept isn’t dually brilliant and absurd.

Their private brand, Kirkland’s, has also attained legendary status — viewed by many as representative of value and quality. A new engine of growth for Costco is now enjoyed in wine, beer, and spirits.

Last year, alcohol brought in $3.8b, half coming from bullshit wine. This business has grown by 46% over the past 5 years, outpacing food and sundries.

“Private label continues to grow as a dominant strategy in retail — especially when it migrates from being a ‘label’ to more of a ‘brand,’ which Kirkland has done,” said David Bassuk, managing director at consulting firm AlixPartners in New York. “Now it’s a well-known name and gives the consumer a perception of value and a good deal.”

The reason for their success lies in the perceived value. The company only marks up prices by 10-14% compared to industry norms of 25-40%.

“They’re doing the opposite of looking to cut corners,” he said. “They’re looking for maximum quality and minimum markup to drive value for the member.”

Other retailers like Whole Foods, Walmart, and Target have entered the private label business for booze too and have enjoyed success, thanks to America’s proclivity to drink themselves into stupors. Even still, Costco is widely regarded as the winner in this high growth space — clawhammering local liquor stores into a thousand pieces wherever they encounter them.

Both the stock and revenue/earnings trends have been steady eddy, in spite of an overall lackluster retail environment.

Ancillary beneficiaries are $STZ, $DEO and BF-b.

Happy pre St. Paddy’s day.

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Please God Give Us Another Housing Bubble

The last housing bubble was enjoyable. Housing stocks like $TOL and $HOV moved like internet stocks and the local real estate was rife with speculation — causing even homeless men to ‘play the market’ and become true players in the housing extravaganza.

You didn’t need any documentation back then and loans were given out freely, without a care in the world. I took out a mortgage with a home equity loan attached to it. I could do as I liked with the money — no strings attached — so I bought some Google calls with it and saw it expire worthless inside of a month. Losing the money was a minor set back. I didn’t care about money then as I do now. I viewed it as transitory, small little pieces of paper that could easily be reproduced at my desk by doing a few trades.

Commissions were gauche and I didn’t have an issue making as much as I wanted. It all was dependent upon the amount of time I wanted to work. If I wanted to make, for example, $40,000 for the month, I’d have to work part time. If I was in a particularly fond mood of making money, feeling competitive and entrepreneurial, I’d work full time and make over $100,000.

The housing bubble only fueled this carnivale like atmosphere. Some of my clients would take their money out to spend on beach homes they were flipping — always angling for the next score. Truth be told, I was too busy reproducing cash at my desk than worrying about real estate. Many of my friends were active players in the bubbling hot Brooklyn market and ended up making permanent wealth as a result.

So when I see the housing sector up by 3% for the day and $XHB ripping higher, I am reminded of the halcyon days of 2003-2007 when life was absurd and the economy was roaring ahead atop of a gigantic bubble.

I want those days back. I don’t give a shit about moral hazard and the fact that bubbles eventually lead to dark endings.

All endings are dark, friendo. Let’s get this fucking party started.

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New Drama: Trump Attacks Sesame Street with Budget Cuts; Ronald McDonald Offers Reprisal on Twitter

The amount of grief taking place across the left side of America is intense. Their mental ailments have been laid bare and now they’re lashing out like savage animals because they didn’t get a second place trophy.

Last night Trump’s proposed a sundry of budget cuts, most of which hit liberal institutions that have become political and really shouldn’t be funded by the government. One of those organizations is PBS — home of Ernie and Bert.

Whether the proposed cuts will stick is immaterial at this point. Part of negotiating any deal is to first aim high and try to meet in the middle. Being that The Donald is a savant in crafting deals, I’m certain he’ll bend a little, especially when it comes to some of the cultural institutions that rich folk hold so dear.

Then earlier on today, the Twitter account for $MCD went rogue and attacked Trump. I do not believe it was hacked, even though Twitter said it was compromised. I think it was some malevolently by some retard managing the account.

On a related note, democrats are now threatening to defund the government by not raising debt ceiling — in an effort to stop Trump’s Wall from being built. Good thing the Mexicans are paying for it.

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Do We Even Care About the Fed Anymore?

The past 6 months have been surreal. The Trump show continues to spin off hit after hit, weaving intrigue and endless amounts of entertainment for those paying attention to the details. The left have lost often and in hilarious fashion. Trump has been under attack from the moment he announced his candidacy and his thinned skin demeanor all but guarantees he’ll continue to give his enemies hell — even when they don’t deserve it.

There are innumerable benefits to this, especially from an investment standpoint — the first being he’s made the Fed almost meaningless. You know as well as I that if Trump wasn’t around creating all sorts of shit storms, we’d be hanging on every word coming out of the Fed heads. Do you remember when we’d know the schedules of each Fed head, even the non voting one’s, just so we could parse every word to get a better idea what they were up to? Now we don’t give a shit. If they all died in fires today, we might be sad, but we really wouldn’t give a shit.

All that matters now is the plans Trump has set forth: taxes, healthcare, regulations, budget and infrastructure. Life is simple again. The fuckers at the Fed have the cover they need to slowly sabotage the market and we can trade again — without having to worry about market crashes, induced by a Fed governor burp.

Demotards and republitards should both be grateful for Trump for being the lightening rod, the bigger than life super hero/villain (depending how you look at him), for us little guys trying to cobble together a few million in investment gains in order to finance modest lives in zero crime, golf course rich, suburban neighborhoods with pastoral views.

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Bloomberg Reporter Calls Out Yellen’s Fed Policy For its Retard Level Logic

Kathleen Hayes from Bloomberg called out Yellen for the state of the economy being in the tank — juxtaposed against nonsensical Fed Reserve tightening. Clearly, she hasn’t a legitimate reason to hike rates, other than to draw down the economy and cause a crisis.

Yellen said ‘policy remains accommodative’ yet she’s fucking hiking. That’s like me punching you in the face, whilst saying ‘I’m here to help.’

When Hayes asked if the Fed would continue to tighten should the economy continued to wallow in the doldrums, Yellen gave herself some wiggle room, saying ‘policy wasn’t set in stone.’

Well, look, our policy is not set in stone. It is data- dependent and we’re — we’re not locked into any particular policy path. Our — you know, as you said, the data have not notably strengthened. I — there’s noise always in the data from quarter to quarter. But we haven’t changed our view of the outlook. We think we’re on the same path, not — we haven’t boosted the outlook, projected faster growth. We think we’re moving along the same course we’ve been on, but it is one that involves gradual tightening in the labor market.

I would describe some measures of wage growth as having moved up some. Some measures haven’t moved up, but there’s is also suggestive of a strengthening labor market. And we expect policy to remain accommodative now for some time. So we’re talking about a gradual path of removing policy accommodation as the economy makes progress moving toward neutral. But we’re continuing to provide accommodation to the economy that’s allowing it to grow at an above-trend pace that’s consistent with further improvement in the labor market.

ONE DOES NOT HIKE INTEREST RATES WHEN THE ECONOMY IS GROWING UNDER 1%.

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Crazy McCain Accused Rand Paul of ‘Working for Putin’ On Senate Floor

We truly dodged a bullet when Obama kicked old man McCain down a flight of electoral stairs in 2008.

In an effort to further his saber rattling against Putin and Russia, McCain is leading the charge to get Montenegro added to NATO. Libertarian Rand Paul, a man consistently against foreign intervention that costs the lives of millions, objected to it and walked out of the room — which then triggered McCain to make the following remarks.

“I note the senator from Kentucky leaving the floor without justification or any rationale for the action he has just taken. That is really remarkable — that a senator blocking a treaty that is supported by the overwhelming number, perhaps 98 at least of his colleagues, would come to the floor and object and walk away…The only conclusion you can draw when he walks away is he has no argument to be made.

He has no justification for his objection to having a small nation be part of NATO that is under assault from the Russians. So, I repeat again, the senator from Kentucky is now working for Vladimir Putin.”

We’re in full blown red scare mode in establishment s h i l l America.

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The Tolerant Left: Michael Savage Attacked Outside Restaurant, Dog Kicked

How long can we permit them to keep getting away with this sort of stuff? There will come a day when the right wing goon squads will have no choice but to place these people into large shipping containers, and then sink them to the bottom of the ocean.

Meanwhile, right wing tards continue to get beat down — across the nation.

Last night conservative talk show host, Michael Savage, was attacked by a 6’5 man outside a restaurant after eating dinner — who also kicked Savage’s dog — because liberalism is a mental disorder.

Michael’s attorney said they’ll be pursuing felony charges.

“We’re going to seek felony charges against the man and we’re going to investigate this as a Hate Crime because of Michael’s political views.”

Here is Savage’s account of the assault.

“I was leaving Servino’s restaurant when a total stranger followed me out of the restaurant and confronted me. He said, ‘Are you Michael Weiner?’ I turned to him and sid, ‘Go away, I don’t know who you are. I turned to leave and he pushed me and I fell down. He moved toward me to pushed me down and he shoved my 10-pound poodle out of the way to get to me. He has lied and said I pushed him. That is absurd. Both of my hands were holding onto things!”

Savage and his dog are okay. Some websites said Savage incurred a bloody nose, but that has yet to be confirmed.

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Rigged Markets, Rigged Elections, Fake News, Fake Polls and Now Fake Weather

The National Weather Service was warning of a monstrous storm yesterday, one that would lay more than 2 feet of snow on NYC streets and surrounding areas. The net result was more nothing. Great. There’s nothing wrong with being wrong about forecasting the weather. After all, weathermen are barely literate people. But in this particular case, THEY FUCKING LIED — as not to ‘confuse’ the pavement apes who scrape their knuckles on the NYC streets.

Shep Smith laid into them for lying, calling it ‘WRONG’, as flamboyantly gay Shep could only do, always with a flair for the dramatics.

Matt Drudge has been very vocal about the NWS failures, saying it has become a sordid cabal of politcal hacks, Obamaites — offering FAKE WEATHER to the people as a form of wanton perversion of science.

These people should be electrocuted on wrought iron gates, or tossed into active volcanos or twisters. As a meteorologist, I’m sure that’s a nice way to die — having your arms and legs torn from your torso inside of the vortex of a twister — shoveling shit in your mouth the whole time as it tears through some asshole midwest town filled with religious folk.

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Federal Reserve ‘Dovishness’ Causes Furious Rally in Gold Stocks

Do not try to understand why gold went up today, or how a Fed rate hike and hints at 2 more for the year was construed as dovish. Just go with the flow — Hakuna Matata.

When you come to realize, finally, that all of your years of study and experience mean nothing in a battlefield filled with fucking retards smashing in each other’s skulls in with their shields, you will find a sort of peace. For two decades, I curated my skills, read innumerable books, expanded my money management business to enjoy 1%er type wealth — only to later find out most of everything that I learned was meaningless horseshit.

The only reliable method of research that I am able to repeat over and over again are found in the confines of Exodus — examining market behavior without emotion. It’s very hard to do and sometimes one does get caught up in the moment — boarded on an arc filled with gay giraffes. But, the data rhymes and often repeats itself — permitting attentive students of the market to glean an edge.

As expected, gold stocks traded higher on a Federal Reserve rate hike, said no one but a select few.

The action was palatable, with the sector higher by 9%.

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More Cogent Advice from B. Gross: ‘HELL COULD BREAK LOOSE’

CNBC had Bill on to translate what had happened at the Fed meeting — relying upon his deep reservoir of experience in the credit markets.

Gross viewed Yellen’s comments as ‘dovish’ — because they only mentioned to more hikes for 2017 and another 2 in 2018. He chalked it up to Janet being a natural dove, big lover of easy monetary policy.

In Bill’s big bug eyes, fiscal reform and potential tax policy adjustments are secondary factors to the actions of the BOJ and ECB — who he thinks are buying the stuffing out of US treasuries in their ridiculous QE programs.

What’s most important to Bill is the potential cessation of QE — which would then usher in a new era for credit markets — one that will be rued for all eternity, bringing forth with it ‘hell’, alluding to potential majorly drops in bond prices.

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