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Sorted Weekly Tweets



  • Pettis: I would argue that until Beijing has cleaned up its debt problems and its very unstable balance sheets, it cannot move quickly. $$
  • Pettis: Reducing the [interest] subsidy by raising rates would cause them all to bleed money. (DM: thus fin’l liberalization difficult) $$
  • Pettis: Far more than 100% of total SOE profits come from the interest rate subsidy (not to mention other subsidies…) $$
  • Target loopholes in pension system China pensions exceeds the stupidity of US but not Greece: ret ages 2 low $$
  • Chinese steel association seeks to tackle ‘vicious competition’ A lot of words trying to explain away 2 much steel $$
  • China Slowing Reserves – A reverse QE? Hu Jintao ate sour grapes & Xi Jinping’s teeth r set on edge $$#dealtabadhand
  • Policy battle rages in China as slowdown feeds ‘sense of crisis’ Hard to overcome bureaucracy stifling the economy $$




  • Germans Splurge on Italian Homes Locals Can’t Afford Pushes $$ into Italian economy, don’t kvetch
  • German euro founder calls for ‘catastrophic’ currency 2b broken The political experiment should end; harm>good $$
  • Eurozone crisis deepens as German ‘sado-monetarists’ refuse to back Either centralize or dissolve the Eurozone $$
  • Southern Europeans Flock to Cheaper labor emigrates to Germany to benefit from their capital invested $$
  • Sweden a Crisis Casualty No More Shows How to Get Haven Which inflates asset values in their economy, great $$


Rest of the World


  • Egypt’s Wheat Farmers Hobbled by Fuel Shortages as Silos Run Who would have the courage 2free Egypt’s economy? $$
  • Dollar Buying Continues Apace After ¥100 Break & Three on #Japan $$
  • Iran Cracks Down Ahead of The Ghanoon newspaper says. “Only in Iran: Election comes and Internet goes.” $$
  • SAT Scandal Shines Harsh Light on South Korean Academics exams cancelled in S. Korea, a first for any country $$
  • Egypt Investment Collapsing as Citizens Turn Into Vigilantes It was smart 2 topple Hosni Mubarak & Saddam Hussein $$
  • In India, a Quixotic Fight Against Car Honks Makes me want 2 create a bumper sticker, “Honk if you love India!” $$ ;)


Companies & Industries


  • Blackstone Targets Bulging Corporate Coffers Via New Unit W/ MMFs under threat, alternative S-T income funds arise $$
  • Temporary Workers Near US Record Makes Kelly a Winner firms benefit from need 4 fewer full-time workers $$
  • And, as an aside, once PPACA [Obamacare] really kicks in, part-time work may become even bigger; very ill-thought out law, unforced error $$
  • Delta Capital-Return Plan Puts Focus on Cash Flow Airlines r2 capital intensive 2b run 4 free cash flow; dubious $$
  • Scor lead bidder for Generali USA in $800m deal Not surprising 2c Scor overpay; $RGA is conservative $$ | FD: + $RGA
  • Some Insurers Turn Away Variable-Annuity Money When a life company does this, fund it, & don’t surrender; you won $$
  • Merged Bonds May Spur Fannie, Freddie Revamp Offer the equity interests a kiss goodbye & merge them into GNMA $$
  • Cheapest Way to Rob Bank Seen in Cyber Attack Like Hustle Denial of Service attack, raid $$ during distraction
  • New technology propels ‘old energy’ boom Alternative energy will make sense when conventional energy gets scarce $$
  • Amazon’s growing threat 2 H-P, Dell and Oracle It’s amazing how you can beat your competitors w/no profit FD: + $ORCL
  • Some Verizon Investors OK With Paying Premium 4 Vodafone Stake large $VZ shareholders ok paying $130B FD: + $VOD


US Politics & Economics


  • Deficit Reduction Is Seen by Economists as Impeding Recovery have not been right, y listen 2 them? $$
  •  “Big banks get a great deal when they borrow from the Fed,” Warren said on the Senate floor. “In effect, the American taxpayer… (1/2)
  • …is investing in those banks. We should make the same kind of investment in our young people who are trying to get an education.” (2/2) $$
  • Private Student Debt Refinancing Could Help Economy, CFPB Says Warren is a dangerous loony in this case $$
  • @AllenSammey When a politician lobbies to use the borrowing power of the Fed for narrow political ends, that is dangerous, no?
  • @AllenSammey Also, read the two prior tweets. They were meant as a group. I like a lot about Warren, but there is a lot 2 worry about also
  • @AllenSammey That’s y I lend to my own children @ 0% in place of student loans; that they r not dischargeable in BK is another neg feature
  • Blacks Surpass Whites in Voter Turnout, Census Data Show Helps explain the last election’s results $$
  • Colleges Soak Poor US Students While Funneling Aid to Rich r funded by donations. Poor people can’t donate.
  • What was Gallagher thinking? Difficult 2harm muni bonds w/strong economic purpose/pledges behind them $$ by @munilass
  • Time for Americans to Rethink Retirement? If u have not concluded that u won’t retire, u r not paying attention $$
  • Federal Reserve Blows More Ron Paul minces no words about the foolishness of current Fed policy $$
  • If this was a pill, you’d do anything to get it Simple: have a nurse check on sick elderly at home once a week $$
  • Gore Is Romney-Rich With $200 Million After Bush Defeat An utter hypocrite, pursuing his politics 4 financial gain $$
  • US Non-Farm Payrolls – The Hidden Weaknesses – not +165k but -376k? A pessimistic alternative view of jobs report $$
  • Too Much Asset Inflation on Paul Krugman’s blather about there not being enough inflation, given asset bubble $$
  • Everything You Think You Know About the Fed’s Exit Plan May Be Fed may try 2 tighten &hold down long yields $$
  • Reverse Revolving Door: How Corporate Insiders r Rewarded, Leaving Firms For Congress Y the Purple Party rules DC $$


Market Dynamics


  • Seth Klarman Warns of False Calm in the US It is far easier 2b lax in $$ policy than it is to remove laxity#klarman
  • Investor Demand Propels Cheap Corporate Debt Note that borrowing is not going on to fund organic growth, generally $$
  • Yields on Junk Bonds Reach New… When the average yield on junk bonds drops below 5%, we should run away $$
  • Listening to Harry Markowitz drone on about MPT, while I have 2 questions pending. Webinar:Arizona CFA socieities $$
  • As Sohn gears up, is it open season on Paulson and other hedge funds? Hedge funds have a weak liability structure $$
  • This graph is 1 of many reasons y I follow the credit cycle: Not perfect, but credit is the heartbeat of commerce $$
  • “Putting Dow 15,000 in Perspective” by@ReformedBroker Round numbers fascinate us; processes behind them r unclear $$
  • Spinning single-family home investments into mortgage-backed securities Better idea than securitizing rents $$
  • Current Account: Cheap Junk Leads to Expensive Mistakes A lower coupon on a junk bond means more refinancing risk $$
  • Wall Street’s trading businesses turn to survival of the least dead want 2b the last man standing: monopoly $$
  • Rush for gold coins, jewels peters Looks like the drive to own physical precious metals has finished 4 now $$
  • Speedy Robots Still a Wall Street Anytime a strategy gets too large, the non-linearities kick in, w/crisis $$
  • Chart of the Day: NYSE Margin Debt Raises Eyebrows mismatch invites trouble; margin debt goes up $$




  • Better Than Buffett, This Investor Made Me Rich for Life ‘s tribute to his late mother $$ Love > Money
  • If Spending Is the Goal, Try Use-It-Or-Lose-It Gift Cards should b distributed to the people per capita $$
  • The Internet Kills More Jobs Than It Creates It is shrinking the cash/taxable economy, but not the economy. $$
  • Today’s CEOs Are Too Timid for the Times The marginal productivity of capital is falling b/c of debt deflation. $$
  • David Ferrucci: Life After Creator of IBM’s Watson goes 2Bridgewater 2apply Big Data & AI 2forecasting econ $$



Berkshire Hathaway


  • $BRK.A CEOs Spend Quietly, Match Buffett on Heinz Deal FD: +$BRK.B | Clever subsidiary CEOs grow BRK organically $$
  • New book teaches children ABCs of Buffett’s Company There would b a Hebrew version, but the Gecko isn’t kosher $$ ;)
  • I think reinsuring Long Term Care is stupid almost always. Insureds know more than insurer, who know more than reinsurer cc @retheauditors
  • BRK knew *far* less than SwissRe about the policies they were reinsuring. On life re, meh, but 2 reinsure LTC takes real knowledge $$ + $BRK
  • Buffett’s Ribbing About Swiss Re Dispute Is Fibbing SwissRe took BRK 2 the cleaners FD: + $BRK/B cc@retheauditors $$
  • Warren Buffett worries about Fed’s ‘huge experiment’ Reliable: removing accommodation is harder than providing it $$
  • Munger: It’s time to break up the Munger knows that you should mix deposit insurance w/investment banking $$
  • A Lesson From Warren Buffett: Doubt Yourself Many great investment teams encourage disagreement 2 test theses hard $$
  • “We Want to Win”:Berkshire Hathaway Ann’l Meeting, 2013 Edition could help $VZ buy VZ Wireless FD: +$BRK $VOD





  • @creditplumber My article is about insurance companies; u r taking my words out of context
  • Wrong: Fed in 2008 Showed Panic of 1907 Was Excessive If/when the tightening cycle ends & things r fine, then crow $$
  • Wrong: Earnings Seen Lifting S&P 500 to Real Record Profit margins would have 2 rise from record highs 2 do this $$
  • Wrong: Y I Have Never Said 2Invest With Warren Buffett U don’t tug on Superman’s cape, u don’t spit in the wind… $$
  • Unsure: Chanos sees downturn in hard disk drive industry Will b hard to fight all of the free cash flow $$
  • Wrong: Larry Fink’s radical retirement recommendation Please do *not* constrain people 2save; failure is an option $$
  • @AllenSammey I mean that people should be free 2 take care of current needs rather than being forced to save, even if it means poor when old
  • Wrong: House Democrats Seeking Control Eye 17 Split-Ticket This article asserts, it does not prove $$
  • Wrong: Bond Buyers See No 1994 Rout Helped by Bernanke Clarity one saw 1994 coming either; we r flying blind $$
  • Wrong: Crises Before and After the Creation of the Fed (2013-13, 5/6/2013) Very premature 2 run a victory lap $$


Replies, Retweets & Comments


  • @SarcasticBull I agree.
  • That is funny & weird. Very, very weird $$ RT @izakaminska: Meme time:Hitler finds out about negative interest
  • @munilass The danger 4 those that seek notable media coverage: media likes bold predictions, b/c they are “newsy.” Kind of a trap $$
  • @ScrollnKey 6x prior premium? Thanks. Post-Cyprus I think many people are analyzing how they can preserve their wealth.
  • Building a bigger, badder, bubble RT@kmac: RBA statement
  • @ScrollnKey How is it compared to six months ago?
  • +1 Houses r expenses RT@cullenroche: Rarely do I disagree with Rick Ferri, but I do…
  • @OffRoadFinance I will accept the premise of the paper once we get through the ultimate tightening cycle, which may not b 4 decades
  • Van Hoisington, Lacy Hunt & Gary Shilling would agree RT @carney: …a lot of people making bets on rates rising could get burned badly …
  • @ReformedBroker thanks
  • @The_Analyst @ReformedBroker There are levels of trust; this one ain’t so high, but it’s a straw blowing in the wind
  • @ReformedBroker What was the forward PE on the cyclicals?
  • @gmacd18 Too early to say. Japan has been given a temporary free pass from the G20. When more nations try2 weaken their currencies, we’ll c
  • RT @volatilitysmile: “The tax deductibility of interest played its part in creating this mess, both in the corporate and mortgage markets.”




  • My week on twitter: 51 retweets received, 1 new listings, 87 new followers, 61 mentions. Via:


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David Merkel is an investment professional, and like every investment professional, he makes mistakes. David encourages you to do your own independent "due diligence" on any idea that he talks about, because he could be wrong. Nothing written here, at RealMoney, Wall Street All-Stars, or anywhere else David may write is an invitation to buy or sell any particular security; at most, David is handing out educated guesses as to what the markets may do. David is fond of saying, "The markets always find a new way to make a fool out of you," and so he encourages caution in investing. Risk control wins the game in the long run, not bold moves. Even the best strategies of the past fail, sometimes spectacularly, when you least expect it. David is not immune to that, so please understand that any past success of his will be probably be followed by failures.

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