Venezuela is broken and Libya is on fire. The Chavez government is incompetent and the Gaddafi regime may be just days away from collapse
as chaos fills the streets. Rumors of Gaddafi escaping to Venezuela are unfounded. However, if two men ever deserved each other, these two fit the bill.
Chavez, in all his economic wisdom has brought on over 28% inflation and counting in addition to the Currency Market Takeover Spurs Lines for Dollars
. All this wonderful news led me to search for Venezuelan ADR's (American Depository Receipts) in case I wanted to follow the market there, and make a contrarian play, or if I really wanted to get wild short something.
Continue reading Serious Money: Chavez & Gaddafi, Real Blues Brothers
Forgive me if I stray slightly, but I could not help thinking about how ironic it would be if someone leaked information as to the whereabouts of Wikileaks founder and "fearless leader" Julian Assange -- who is in hiding!
It would be even more ironic if a CIA operative who had his cover blown by Wikileaks decides what goes around comes around. Let's face it, in its own way Wikileaks has become a rogue nation, so why wouldn't the CIA get involved?
In the mean time, this has probably helped world markets as it has overtaken everything else as the big story of the past 48 hours. In a bizarre way, Assange may have achieved one of his goals by bringing the world closer together, sort of.
Continue reading Serious Money: Does BAC Have Anything to Fear from Wikileaks?
Technology giant Hewlett Packard Company (HPQ) will be reporting its fiscal fourth quarter results following the market close Monday, with analysts expecting to see earnings of $1.27 per share.
During the same period last year, the company had earnings of $1.14 per share.
There will definitely be a lot of attention paid to the company's quarterly report, but that does not have so much to do with the company's figures as it does with the company's new CEO, Leo Apotheker.
Continue reading Hewlett-Packard Q4 Earnings Preview
The mortgage foreclosure fiasco uncovered a morass of underlying issues that threaten bank procedures and raise questions concerning whether fraud is involved.
Let's trace the events that led up to the present crisis. First, we begin with persons buying a house and taking out a mortgage. The mortgage is called the note. That note is filed in the local County Clerk's office. So much for that segment.
Continue reading How Robo Signing Intensifies the Mortgage Crisis
Imagine, if you would, that you lost your home to foreclosure, but you later learned that the entity that seized your property likely had no right to take it. It sounds unbelievable, right? Well, a recently initiated investigation involving GMAC indicates that may be exactly what has happened in tens of thousands of foreclosure cases across the country.
The investigation, undertaken by the Florida Attorney General, is examining three law firms for allegedly providing fraudulent affidavits that identify who holds the original mortgage note in foreclosure cases. According to a report from NPR, this action has caused GMAC to suspend pending eviction and foreclosure activities.
Continue reading GMAC Investigation Signals Possible Next Meltdown
Where did they go? Why have we not heard from them? We have heard what the rig survivors had to say, as well as the government inspectors, regulators and elected officials. BP (BP) senior management has spoken out often. We have heard from Gulf coast clean-up crews, the Coast Guard, insurance underwriters and affected business people.
Perhaps I just missed it, but I do not recall hearing anything from someone whose job it is to observe and report on safety and risk at BP facilities?
Continue reading Chasing Value: BP's Risk Manager Missing in Action
The foolishness that goes on in the adult world sets a poor example for the next generation. The poor decisions, arrogance and even stupidity of the Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) board of directors and the equally unfit to lead NCAA is shameful. Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle (ORCL) is correct in calling out the board of HP for firing CEO Mark Hurd, understanding the harm and injustice done to the company and its shareholders.
I can think of no more hypocritical organization then the NCAA, which has also shown itself to lack a sense of fair play and justice, while holding itself aloof and making demands of others. Its out-of-touch judgments and penalties for rules infractions make no sense, and USC students with no culpability were on the receiving end of it.
Continue reading Chasing Value™: HP and Hurd, NCAA and USC -- Misguided and Foolish
Are you a whistleblower? If so, you could receive big payouts
from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The new financial reform act has a provision that rewards whistleblowers, senior employees and third-party informants who provide the SEC with information that results in prosecution. The payouts could be huge. People who provide the SEC with information that leads to a successful enforcement are entitled to receive 10% to 30% of any sanction over $1 million -- including a share of the proceeds from any related regulatory action or shareholders' lawsuit.
Continue reading Whistleblowing Provision in Financial Reform Act Could Mean Big Payouts
Class action suits of three Ohio pension funds against AIG (AIG
) have been settled for $725 million
The charges against the insurance giant included fraud, accounting violations and stock-price manipulation. "The settlement resolves allegations of American International Group's wide-ranging fraud from October 1999 to April 2005 . . . and brings total expected recovery for AIG shareholders to over $1 billion," according to a statement from the Ohio Attorney General's office.
Continue reading AIG Settles Fraud Charges for $725 Million
The daily cost of operations, clean-up and restitution to BP plc (BP) has reached $100 million per day (over the last three days), according to the company. Unless this is being broadcast to garner unlikely sympathy from a angry crowd, then the costs have reached a magnitude I would have thought unlikely, and my contrarian bet on BP may be at risk.
It's important for me to disclose from the beginning (not just in the footer) that I have wagered that BP is oversold through options and equity. How much so depends on a lot of factors. I made this calculated risk based on the assumption that forcing the company into bankruptcy is not in anyone's best interest. However, I am once again reminded of a great line from the The Maltese Falcon, in which Kasper Gutman cautions Sam Spade:
Continue reading Whose Best Interests Are Served If BP Is Pushed into Bankruptcy?
Since the April 20th explosion of BP's (BP) deepwater rig Horizon, the stock has been steadily falling, and shares fell to a 14 month low today.
The stock finished the day down 6% to $26.97, down $1.77, and traded as low as $26.83 during the day.
Oil has been gushing into the Gulf of Mexico for 62 days now, and no one is expecting BP to be able to stop it until at least August, and that is assuming that the two relief wells the company is drilling will be ready in time.
Continue reading BP Hits New Low as Company Continues to Deal with Oil Spill
Shares of BP plc (BP
) closed today's trading slightly lower, as the company's CEO, Tony Hayward, appeared before Congress today to discuss the oil blowout in the Gulf of Mexico
BP has been under fire for the April 20th explosion that has resulted in the nation's largest environmental disaster, and today the company's CEO was in front of Congress to answer allegations that the company took cost cutting measures on the oil rig that it knew resulted in safety risks.
Continue reading BP Trades Lower as CEO Testifies Before Congress
In the wake of the environmental disaster stemming from the BP (BP
) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Congress summoned oil officials to testify over the safety of their offshore drilling
The oil spill that started back on April 20 when one of BP's offshore drilling platforms exploded continues to leak into the ocean, and could take up to another two months to stop. Following the accident, President Obama imposed a six-month moratorium on deep-water drilling and Congress is now trying to determine the likelihood of another disaster taking place.
Continue reading Exxon Mobil and Chevron Executives Say BP Spill Unlikely to Repeat
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