Today’s must-reads

Here’s what I was reading and thinking about today when I wasn’t preparing for another week of a earnings blitzkrieg.


On Corporate Cash – In the Platinum Chat section on the front page, I got in a debate about whether Apple should split their stock because of this article. I enjoyed Merkel’s contrarian take on corporate cash balances too. But as an Apple investor for nearly a decade now, why would I possibly want them to pay any investment bankers, brokers, analysts and accountants to move a decimal point around on the share prices and total number of shares? I always tell people that if you can’t afford $500 for one share of Apple then you shouldn’t be investing in Apple anyway. Who besides the money-changers makes benefits IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM from stock splits??? Bring on dividends, Apple, but please don’t split the stock!

Gary Smith’s Market Take for January 31, 2012

Will The January Effect Work in 2012?

Amazon reports tonight – I think most analysts know that Amazon’s not concerning itself with trying to appease the sellside analysts and to hit their estimates in tonight’s quarter. Amazon’s trying to beat Netflix and iTunes five years from now. And the more Kindle Fires they sold and the more subscriptions to their Prime service they sold is what I think will catalyze the stock tomorrow. And I’m expecting both of those key metrics to come in much better than expected. So I’m buying Amazon calls even though I know how high risk EVERY earnings trade ALWAYS is.

Brian Gilmartin’s Earnings Diary

Cody Willard: Diversifying your income

Facebook IPO is the talk of Silicon Valley – Nobody knows what valuation it’s coming public at. When Google was about to come public a few years ago, Mario Baritoromo asked me on CNBC if I’d be a buyer of Google. I said probably not, but then when the finally did come public, the stock was valued at much less than I’d expected and I changed my mind, wrote about it, went on TV and mea culpa’d and owned the stock from $90 til nearly $600 when I sold and closed my hedge fund to become a TV anchor. The point being, I’m also inclined to tell you that, at the this point, I’m less than bullish on Facebook if it comes public with a valuation of $120 billion or more and I’ll be outright bearish on Facebook if the it comes public with a valuation north of $150 billion, which is a number I’ve heard bandied about. If it comes public with a valuation of $80 billion or less, I’d be a buyer for a short- to mid-term trade, measured in days or months. Longer-term, I could see Facebook bounce around with a $70 to $200 billion valuation with lots of volatility along the way for years after it does come public. It’d be a buy on crashes and a sell on spikes.

Politics/banking (is there a difference anymore?):

Indicator Update: An Avalanche of Data

Obama Bluffs on ReFi? – Why do welfare programs for homeowners get a free pass? How are homeowner welfare programs a “liberal” cause anyway? How about help for renters, as I’ve asked for years and years? Every bit of goverment assistance for the real estate industry comes out of the pocket of people who don’t own real estate. Just sayin’.

Financial Systems and Italian Cruise Ship Captains

So Why Hasn’t SEC Enforcement Chief Robert Khuzami Resigned? SEC Only Now Investigating CDOs Created on His Watch at Deutsche Bank

Democratic Senators to Push ‘Buffet Rule’ – – Yeah, that’s all we need, more taxes for the Republicans and Democrats to spend. Forty years ago, corporations accounted for nearly 40% of Federal Tax Revenues. Today they account for 6%.  Republicans need to stop pretending that they are fighting for “lower taxes” and START FIGHTING AGAINST ALL FORMS OF regulation capture, bailouts, and corporate welfare. Democrats need to stop pretending that they are for “even playing field” and START FIGHTING AGAINST ALL FORMS OF regulation capture, bailouts, and corporate welfare.  Bailouts alone added $6 trillion to our national debt in the last four years and now we have to deal with Warren Buffett’s “millionaire tax” strawman. Taxes are a small part of how the government redistributes wealth.

Gingrich’s January Haul Is $5 Million – Who sends these Republican/Democrat millionaires money? You don’t have a better place to help with your donations? People who send politicians “donations” truly make me sick. Bad enough that you people vote for Republicans and Democrats but to take your hard-earned money and just send it to them so they can propagandize more? You Republicans and Democrats truly make me sick.