I've been doing this a long time.
Joined Oct 7, 2015
88 Blog Posts

Tom Lee: Stocks to soar 11% in 2016

With the S&P 500 closing Thursday at about 2,099, record high levels are less than 2 percent away. But the oft-bullish Lee won’t be content there — he thinks the index will climb all the way to 2,325, which would represent an 11 percent gain from current level.
After pointing out a few more potentially bullish factors, such as fiscal stimulus after the Brexit vote, the potential for U.S. exports to strengthen and energy’s rebound thanks to an oil bounce, Lee concluded by turning again to the potential for a great deal of money to enter or re-enter the market.

Certainly more QE would temporarily stimulate markets, but it would just set them up for an even bigger fall. The guy never even mentions negative interest rates nor the strong possibility that the EU aka Angela Merkel will punish the UK for it’s upstart behavior.

Also not mentioned are the already absurdly high valuations we currently see in the markets, though it was left to the show’s producer who actually mentions it in the story, rather than the moron who should be asking the question. Brian Sullivan continues on his Quest to be a bigger asshat than Jim Cramer. Sullivan is the Master of the quick quip yet never challenges his guests opinions, ever.

The video link is below. Take your blood-pressure medication before viewing and I apologize for CNBC’s habit of placing 45-second ads ahead of their videos.

Tom Lee of Fundstrat Global Advisors joins Brian Sullivan to discuss the market’s next move:

Source: Tom Lee’s bullish case for stocks

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Microsoft Officially Scheduled to Alter Its Windows 10 ‘Forced’ Upgrade System

I run an IT business. This is very sad for me as a revenue stream will dry up. Mister Softie’s campaign to force an upgrade on any user regardless of consequences was outrageous.

DISCLAIMER: Long MS since 1992 but fuck them.


Cheezburger.com – Crafted from the finest Internets.

Source: Microsoft Officially Scheduled to Alter Its Windows 10 ‘Forced’ Upgrade System

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Yes. I bought something today.

DISCLOSURE: I added to my PJT Partners holding today, in the midst of an absolute rout of the banking sector. I see you laughing, pigdogs, but Maven will prevail. Buy when others are fearful, bishes.

I have already lamented in an earlier post regarding the Privileged Son of a Privileged Son who fucked me and anyone else remotely associated with this firm. May he rot for the next two decades in the same cell with Bernie Madoff.

But that is old news, isn’t it? Move on – seek opportunity in any Financial Meltdown. Call it bottom-feeding, baby-with-the-bathwater investing. Emotion simply cannot be part of this equation. That is not easy when one is currently underwater, even if only by a few hundred bucks.

So I need a Plan, a reason to buy more of this crap. What do they do…what is their milieu. How do they generate cash flow. Can they whether a storm? Better yet, can they thrive in it? In this case I believe they can. The answer is the current dire straits of West Texas Intermediate crude oil and it’s unfortunate producers of the fracking variety of Black Gold, Texas Tea. Pummeled beyond belief, the carnage in this space has only just begun.

Case-in-point – I’ll grab just one fiasco: Energy XXI Ltd. (NASDAQ: EXXI). One of many distressed players in the crude oil field, PJT is handling their financial plan, such as it is:

"We can't hold on much longer, Captain!"
“We can’t hold on much longer, Captain!”


Shareholders are holding the bag here and have only recently won a seat at the Liquidation Table, while bondholders will be getting pennies on the dollar. But one must assume the bankers and lawyers are divvying up some nice fees

The shareholders of troubled oil and gas company Energy XXI Ltd. (EXXIQ) have won a seat at the table. A bankruptcy judge last week agreed to appoint an official committee to represent equity, the costs of which will be added to Energy XXI’s restructuring tab. Facing the risk that they’ll be wiped out in the restructuring, the shareholders have raised questions about the true state of Energy XXI’s financial affairs. The shareholders will now have the cash needed to hire advisers to investigate. ([email protected]; @lilliannnn)

Houston’s Energy XXI, an oil and natural gas development and production company that relies heavily on acquisitions, issued a warning to investors in early March. “Absent a material improvement in oil and gas prices, or a refinancing, or some restructuring of our debt obligations or other improvement in liquidity, we may seek bankruptcy protection to continue our efforts to restructure our business and capital structure and may have to liquidate our assets and may receive less than the value at which those assets are carried on our consolidated financial statements,” the company says in an SEC filing. PJT Partners LP serves as Energy XXI’s financial adviser. Source.

20150327_022204000_iOSMORE DISCLOSURE: Yes, as stated above, I own this stock. I want the price to go up as it is currently $324 below my cost. I do not care whether you buy it, sell it or will it to your Siamese cat. It is my opinion only, and damn you to hell if you try to blame me for your own trading results. I am also riding on the Upper Deck of Captain Fly’s Ark, sipping margaritas with two nubile Asian girls. I did not realize Asian girls were a separate species – but it is not my Ark – and I never question the Rules.


The future belongs to those floating above the flood.

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South Korea may seek bilateral FTA with UK after Brexit: trade minister



SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea may seek a separate free trade deal with Britain in coming years in an effort to minimize the impact of Brexit on the country’s trade with the European Union and Britain, the trade ministry said on Sunday.
It added the more lucrative Korea-EU trade agreement, worth six times the value in exports, will be maintained for the next two years as it will take at least that long for Britain to exit the EU.
“We plan to consult with the EU to reflect appropriate changes on the free trade agreement we have with the bloc after reviewing the possible impact of Brexit,” the ministry’s statement noted.
Following Britain’s decision to leave the 28-country bloc last week, the trade ministry said it expects Brexit would have a limited impact on the country’s real economy.
As of 2015, South Korean exports to Britain amounted to about $7.4 billion, accounting for 1.4 percent of the Asia’s fourth largest economy’s total exports, according to the trade ministry data.
Korean exports to the EU amounted to $48.1 billion, accounting for 9.1 percent of the total exports.

Markets adjust.

Source: South Korea may seek bilateral FTA with UK after Brexit: trade ministr

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Executive Privilege

The Featured Image is copyright© R. Crumb. There is a ton of Wall St in that cartoon if you deign to look closely . God help me if that sonofabitch Crumb comes for me.

This Blog Entry is pure cut-and-paste, except for my comment that this motherfucker Caspersen should be thrown in Bernie Madoff’s cell for a few decades, but not until he has been put in stocks in the Public Square and subjected to the whims of the townsfolk for three days and nights. followed by the complete evisceration of his inherit wealth. Fat fucking chance, eh. USA! USA! USA!

DISCLAIMER: I’m long PJT and have been since the spinoff from Blackstone (BX). And I am fucking pissed. These Izod-clad fucks need to be brought to heel.


Prosecutors Bring New Charges Against Andrew W.W. Caspersen

By Christopher M. Matthews

Prosecutors brought new charges Tuesday against Andrew W.W. Caspersen, a former Wall Street executive accused of gambling away investors’ money on stock market bets, alleging he tried to bilk investors, including his own family, out of tens of millions of dollars more than originally thought.

Mr. Caspersen pleaded not guilty to the new charges Tuesday. But during a hearing in federal court in Manhattan, Mr. Caspersen’s lawyer said his client would likely plead guilty in July. Mr. Caspersen told a federal judge during the hearing that he has a gambling addiction and is receiving mental health treatment.

The Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office and the Securities and Exchange Commission accused the former Park Hill Group partner in March of trying to solicit about $95 million with a sham investment opportunity and then losing nearly $15 million in aggressive stock-options trading.

In new charges filed Tuesday, prosecutors alleged a far larger and more brazen scheme that robbed more than a dozen of Mr. Caspersen’s family members and closest friends of $38.5 million. All told, Mr. Caspersen allegedly tried to solicit $150 million from investors into purported secured loans that he said would yield annual returns of 15% to 20%. The investments included nearly $25 million contributed by a charity backed by Moore Capital founder Louis Bacon.

Instead, prosecutors say, Mr. Caspersen put all of the money into risky stock bets.

According to the complaint filed Tuesday, Mr. Caspersen’s steep financial losses came swiftly. On Feb. 11, his trading account allegedly tallied $112.8 million, the result of his stock options trading and more than enough to pay investors back. But, between Feb. 11 and March 9, Mr. Caspersen lost $108.2 million on stock positions betting the S&P 500 would decline.

The Wall Street Journal previously reported that those who know Mr. Caspersen believe he was feeding a gambling addiction. Paul Shechtman, his attorney, confirmed that Tuesday, saying his client had a “pathological gambling problem.”

“This is not a story of Wall Street greed,” Mr. Shechtman told reporters after the hearing. “This is a story of a person with a serious mental health problem that went untreated until his arrest.”

Mr. Caspersen is cooperating with the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office, according to people familiar with the matter.

Prosecutors alleged in the complaint Tuesday that Mr. Caspersen unsuccessfully sought millions more than was known previously, soliciting $110 million using similar misrepresentations about the phony secured loan. It is unclear to whom he turned for those funds, but those people apparently didn’t bite on Mr. Caspersen’s offer.

His former employer, PJT Partners, which owns Park Hill, has said an internal review of Mr. Caspersen’s dealings found he conducted a number of unauthorized and unlawful transactions beginning in late 2014 through March 2016. Prosecutors said Mr. Caspersen had begun placing stock options bets with investor money by at least November 2014.

Mr. Shechtman said Tuesday that Mr. Caspersen’s gambling addiction had gone untreated for years, and that he had begun placing sports and casino bets during his time at Harvard Law School.

He had also gambled away some $20 million in family inheritance, Mr. Shechtman said.

Mr. Caspersen came from a privileged background. His father, Finn M.W. Caspersen, ran consumer-finance company Beneficial Corp. for nearly two decades, and he pocketed a fortune when it was sold for $8.6 billion in 1998. His father committed suicide in 2009 while battling liver cancer.

Following his gambling losses, Mr. Caspersen began turning to his family and friends for loans, Mr. Shechtman said, among them, the family of Cat MacRae, his fiancée who was killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Mr. Shechtman said Mr. Caspersen was remorseful but relieved that his family was standing by him, including his wife, Christina.

Write to Christopher M. Matthews at [email protected]

> Dow Jones Newswires

June 15, 2016 11:59 ET (15:59 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2016 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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Chinese company suing Apple is bankrupt

In another example of the absurdity surrounding anything Chinese, the company suing Apple for alleged patent infringement does not answer the phones.



“The company still plans to push forward with its case”


BEIJING–When a Beijing regulator recently ruled against Apple Inc. in a patent dispute, it handed a victory to a Chinese company that barely exists.

Phone calls to the company, Shenzhen Baili Marketing Services Co., ring unanswered. Its websites have been deleted. Visits to its three registered addresses found no company offices.

Baili and its parent, Digione, are part of a rapid boom and bust in China’s new wave of smartphone makers. When Baili took on Apple (AAPL) in December 2014, telling Chinese regulators that the Cupertino, Calif., company’s new models infringed on its smartphone design patents, it had bold aspirations, a big-name investor in Chinese internet giant Baidu Inc. (BIDU) and a team of experienced executives.

By the time regulators reached a decision this year, Digione had collapsed, brought down by buggy products, mismanagement and fierce competition, according to former employees and investors. Digione has been absent from China’s mobile-phone market for at least a year and Baidu has accused it of squandering its investment.

Baili, its unit that registered the phone patents, will continue to battle Apple in court, said Digione lawyer Andy Yang, of Beijing Wis & Weals. “Shenzhen Baili is still operational in its necessary functions,” he said. Mr. Yang declined to comment on queries on Digione’s relationship with Baidu.



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Investing in China? Why would you do such a thing?

The Big News in my feed this morning is the story on the obscure Beijing bureaucrats who have caused a 2% drop in Apple shares by banning the sale of ancient iPhones in the old city, phones that Apple is currently phasing-out of their sales channel.

I am a long-term holder of shares in AAPL, otherwise I would be buying on this dip, but I try to adhere to strict Principles of Allocation in my portfolio. I am Most Comfortable as my cost basis in AAPL is a mere fraction of it’s current “depressed” asking price.

I have already written of my aversion to investing in things Indian so let’s move further Eastward into this morass that is Asian Finance. Or at least my limited experience with it. Years ago, while it was still fashionable and in a Moment of Weakness, I “invested” in a coal-mining company in fucking Inner Mongolia. The Maven is not proud of this but it was long ago and illegal substances as well as copious amounts of legal alcohol could possibly have been involved. Things were going smoothly for awhile, quarterly reports came in with steadily increasing earnings, astute acquisitions were made, the coal industry was booming, and goddammit I was going to do pick up the White Man’s Burden and help the fine people of Inner Mongolia obtain cheap fuel and electricity.

And then it all vanished, literally overnight, in a frenzy of financial chicanery not seen since the days of the river boat gamblers fleecing rubes on the Mississippi. The CEO was accused of Crimes Against the State and apparently whisked into the gulag never to be seen again until properly reprogrammed.

Your Maven shound have been risk-averse to anything remotely Chinese at that point – and I was, for years. Yet I watched, forlornly, as company after company debuted with IPO’s worth tens of billions of dollars. Billionaires created by the hundreds with many, many hopeful speculators not far behind. I had to get back in the game, as Cramerica is always exhorted on that CNBC thing.


As you can see by the chart, the Chinese have been pouring money into their exchanges, mostly money flowing into IPO’s. Yet the average investor there will pull his money out just as quickly as he threw it in, as evidenced by the dramatic swings we have seen over the past 18 months. And the communists have been Most Helpful as they have made investing in IPO’s dramatically more efficient:


Yet the results for many enthusiastic speculators has been less than stellar. I am being kind:


And the communists hold a tight rein on your Dreams of Early Retirement when you might least expect it:


“Get back in the game”. So I did. I researched and I researched and I decided on Trina Solar (Ticker Symbol TSL). I waited for a drop, and drop it did, from dizzying heights all the way down to the teens and then into single digits. Yet the fundamentals were strong, there was growth with little debt, analysts were falling all over themselves. So I jumped in. But this time I traded it rather than treating it as a long-term play. And it worked, for the better part of a year I made good money buying dips and selling a short time later for decent, sometimes even great, returns.

Perhaps the burn from my coal debacle tempered my enthusiasm, as I am lucky that I never bought a large number of shares at one time nor held them for long periods. Yet my final buy and sell left such a taste of bullshit in my mouth that I swore off anything Chinese, forever. Read on…


You see just as it seemed TSL would rocket higher, the CEO, Jifan Gao, formed a cabal to take the company private via ADS in December 2015. Long-time holders, and there were many, who had bought at much higher prices over a few years, got rat-slapped as the price to acquire was set at about $11.60 – far below what most analysts at the time regarded as the fair price of company shares. I believe the Consensus at the time was about $18-$21/share, although Chinese co’s do tend to have depressed pricing (I wonder why). Now at the time, I was holding shares that I had bought in the range of $7-$8 so I could not complain too loudly. But the sheer timing of the announcement pretty much destroyed the capital of those bagholders who believed (rightly, according to the data) that they would not only recoup their losses but would be handsomely rewarded for their unwavering support of this leader in the solar panel industry.

And TSL was, and is, a leader in the industry as they also embarked on an ambitious and quite successful expansion into becoming not only a manufacturer but also an installer, and sometime operator, of large solar-power projects all over the globe. They also steadily announced dramatic gains in panel efficiency as well as impressive cost-cutting to maintain margins as selling prices continued to drop. They even won awards for environmental improvements in what is a pretty green-unfriendly manufacturing process.

So the whole thing just stinks to high heaven from the perspective of western traders accustomed to at least some semblance of rules and fairness. There is just too much uncertainty surrounding the idea of throwing greenbacks at a bunch of unsavory communists. The word unscrupulous, resurrected from an old Charlie Chan flick, should be added to any sane investor’s lexicon.

We note that Alibaba is once again mired in various allegations of flim-flammery and Shenanigans. We tend to notice these things. Have a wonderful weekend.

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The Eye of Kaplan turns towards Texas banksters

imageDallas Fed’s Kaplan swings his gaze to the local banksters. The vaunted “Texas Premium” is being stripped naked and exposed.


Banks in Texas and parts of Louisiana and New Mexico are setting aside more money to guard against loan losses as the energy companies they serve struggle amid still-low oil prices, the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank said in a report Thursday.
Banks in the district supervised by the Dallas Fed are also getting additional scrutiny for their commercial real estate loans, the regional Fed bank’s president, Robert Kaplan, said in the report, which characterized commercial real estate as an “emerging area of concern.”

Source: Texas banks face increasing risks from low oil prices: Dallas Fed By R

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