Friday, May 30, 2014
We found this one piece of sports news from yesterday interesting..
Seems Donald Sterling, owner of the LA Clippers is going to sell his franchise after all... to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion...
Shame Sterling had to give up his fight against the NBA..
Legally he would have defeated them but it would have taken years of litigation, the guy is 81, has cancer and well.. In the world of big business, money talks and there's a lot of evil spiteful malcontents who are having to shut up right now because its hard to claim victory vs a man who made out like a bandit
$2 billion with a B sale on a franchise he paid $12.5 million with an M and only valued at $575 million..
That is a 1,600% profit folks..
And all for saying in private chat to his gold-digging mulatto mistress who illegally recorded the conversation that she shouldn't take public pictures with thugs and HIV spreaders (but could sleep with them and he was OK with it)
So let's go back to Ballmer..
Now 1/15th of all the teams in the NBA are owned by former Microsoft people with Paul Allen who owns the Portland Trailblazers and NFL's Seattle Seahawks as the other..
The problem isn't really so much that Ballmer paid $2 billion for an NBA franchise..
It's the fact he could afford one.
You see if you or we made a salary of $50 million a year, it would take us working 40 years with zero going to taxes or living expenses to generate the $2 billion necessary to buy the Clippers..
Think about that.. $50,000,000 annually for 40 years!
Ballmer has a net worth of a little over $20 billion meaning his purchase only represented 10% of his money...
And for whatever reason, most people can not or refuse to grasp that concept and get G-D angry over the wealth disparity in this nation
So we thought for 'fun', we'd look and see who owns the other 28 NBA franchises.. Some will be individuals.. Some corporations.. But every owner obscenely wealthy...
And the everyday people making 5-6 figures annually while paying to watch slam dunks and alley oops couldn't seem to give a Damn over the disparity..
Atlanta Hawks -- owned by Atlanta Spirit, a sports partnership of 7 owners. They also at one time owned NHL's Atlanta Thrashers but ran the franchise to the ground then sold it to another partnership which ultimately became the current Winnipeg Jets
Boston Celtics -- owned by Boston Basketball Partners, LLC which is really 4 very wealthy men who pooled their resources together to buy the Celtics in 2002
Brooklyn Nets -- owned mainly by Mikhail Prokhorov (80% share), a Russian billionaire who made his money in precious metals such as nickel and palladium; His net worth is close to $11 billion
Charlotte Hornets (formerly Bobcats) -- owned by Michael Jordan with BET TV founder Robert Johnson still possessing a minority ownership stake. Being a product whore for Nike, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Gatorade, Rayovac Batteries, MCI long distance and Hanes Underwear (among others) really paid off..
Chicago Bulls -- owned by Jerry Reinsdorf who also owns MLB's Chicago White Sox
Cleveland Cavaliers -- owned by Dan Gilbert who is worth close to $4 billion and owns shares in many smaller sports leagues, is operator of Quicken Loans and Rock Gaming which operates casinos
Dallas Mavericks -- owned by Marc Cuban who is worth $2.6 billion and made his money initially via the stock market Dot.com bubble of the mid 1990's
Denver Nuggets -- owned by Stan Kroenke which runs Kroenke Enterprises and owns among other teams, MLB's Colorado Rockies, NFL's St Louis Rams, MLS' Colorado Rapids and is largest shareholder in English football club Arsenal... He is worth $4.1 billion
Detroit Pistons -- owned by Tom Gores who is worth $2.5 billion.. He is the founder of Platinum Equity, a global private equity firm with headquarters in Beverly Hills.
Golden State Warriors -- owned by Joe Lacob, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers which is a venture capital investment firm; He bought the team in 2010 for $450 million
Houston Rockets -- owned by Leslie Alexander a former bond trader now worth $1.2 billion
Indiana Pacers -- owned by Herb Simon a real estate magnate who also runs Simon Property Group which owns many malls throughout the US. He has a net worth of $2.2 billion
LA Lakers -- owned by the Jerry Buss Family Trust i.e. Dr Buss' children. He passed away in 2013
Memphis Grizzlies -- owned by Robert Pera (majority owner) who is also founder of Ubiquiti Networks, a technology company. He became a billionaire when Ubiquiti went public in 2011
Miami Heat -- owned by Mickey Arison who also until recently was CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines, the world's largest cruise operator. His father co-founded it. Arison is worth nearly $6 billion
Milwaukee Bucks -- owned by Mark Lasry, a billionaire hedge fund manager, He is also the co-founder and chief executive officer of Avenue Capital Group and the co-owns the Bucks with Wesley Edens who founded Fortress Investment Group.
Minnesota Timberwolves -- owned by Glen Taylor who was a former member of the Minnesota Senate and also owns the Minnesota franchise in the WNBA. He founded Taylor Corporation, a privately held multinational printing and electronics company and is worth $1.8 billion
New Orleans Pelicans -- owned by Tom Benson who also owns NFL's New Orleans Saints and possesses a net worth of $1.3 billion. Benson became wealthy by investing profits from his automobile dealerships in local banks. He eventually purchased several small Southern banks and formed Benson Financial, which he sold to Norwest in 1996.
New York Knicks -- owned by the Madison Garden Company and led by James Dolan who's father founded Cablevision and who's uncle Larry Dolan owns MLB's Cleveland Indians
Oklahoma City Thunder -- owned by Professional Basketball Club LLC, a group headed by Clayton Bennett. He was a principal owner of the San Antonio Spurs during the 1990s. He originally purchased the team when it was the Seattle Sonics for $350mil with a good-faith promise he'd keep the team there.. Obviously he didn't..
Orlando Magic -- owned by RDV Sports INC headed up by Richard DeVos who founded Amway and is now worth $5.1 billion
Philadelphia 76ers -- owned by Josh Harris, a billionaire who made his money on Wall Street as an equity investor and owns Apollo Global Management as well as the NHL's New Jersey Devils.
Phoenix Suns -- owned by Robert Sarver who also owns Phoenix's WNBA franchise. In 1982, he founded the National Bank of Arizona then later sold it at a big profit then later acquired and currently possesses other local banks
Sacramento Kings -- owned by Vivek Ranadivé founder and CEO of TIBCO, a multi-billion dollar real-time computing company, and is credited with digitizing Wall Street in the 1980s with his first company, Teknekron Software Systems
San Antonio Spurs -- owned by Peter Holt, CEO of Holt Cat, the largest Caterpillar dealership in the United States and chairman, CEO, and owner of Spurs Sports & Entertainment
Utah Jazz -- owned by Gail Miller and Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment Group of Companies (LHMSC) Larry Miller owned a myriad of other businesses including movie theaters and auto dealerships and upon his death, his wife Gail took over ownership of the team
Toronto Raptors -- owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment which also own NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs and MLS' Toronto FC
Washington Wizards -- Ted Leonsis, a former venture capitalist who also owns NHL's Washington Capitals, Washington's WNBA franchise and the Verizon Center. He is worth over $1 billion
So there you are.. All the owners of the NBA..
You can see why they all were so quick to pounce and destroy Sterling over nothing.. Every one had financial interests at risk in other venues if protests mounted with nearly a third owning other professional sports franchises.
30 greedy pigs..
Posted by Susquehanna at Friday, May 30, 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
So how's the economy and the glorious recovery doing?
In the first quarter of 2014, the economy shrank by 1% - the first 'official' contraction since 2011.
In fact, if not for ObamaCare (healthcare spending was a record $40 Billion this quarter), the contraction would have been by 2%.
You see, when you get negative growth for two consecutive quarters, then the math nerds in Washington declare it as such..
Next.. How is the consumer faring?
Despite record highs in stock markets and talking-heads explaining that a terrible Q1 GDP is nothing to worry about, Bloomberg's Consumer Comfort index collapsed to its lowest level in 6 months as economic expectations plunged from 48 to 42.5 (7-month lows).
So don't say we at A&G never write anything 'positive'...
Now back to the stock market.. Why is it going up?
We mean beyond the fact the Fed is still meddling albeit it with $45 billion monthly being pumped instead of $85B?
Who is the big buyer of stocks? Professional investors? Governments? Everyday people?
Should the Q1 pace of buybacks persist into Q2 which has just one month left before it too enters the history books, this 6 mth period will be the greatest annual buyback tally in market history.
Well its a good place to park extra reserves while not having to use that profit to increase salaries/benefits or convert those temps to perm
Also it makes their stock look even more attractive for naive everyday mom & pop investor simps who think they understand the market because they read WSJ and Forbes
So.. add everything up.. the GDP, the dead consumer making $100k and less.. the stagnant real estate market.. the entire fraud which is the stock market
And hopefully for those who still believe things are getting better, we shattered your illusions because that is the goal..
"Hope" is the thought of a Dope..
When you know how things really are and how things truly will be, only then can you be empowered to make the best personal choices for you and yours to ride out the storm
Posted by Susquehanna at Thursday, May 29, 2014
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
They sure know how to deal (correctly) with those who commit financial crimes
"Mahafarid Amir Khosravi, a billionaire businessman at the heart of a $2.6 billion state bank scam, the largest fraud case since the country's 1979 Islamic Revolution, was executed Saturday, state television reported...
The fraud involved using forged documents to get credit at one of Iran's top financial institutions, Bank Saderat, to purchase assets including state-owned companies like major steel producer Khuzestan Steel Co. "
To say there would never again be financial crimes that hurt millions of people would be extremely naive of us, but it is sorta like the punchline to the joke of 'what are 100 bankers at the bottom of the sea?'
A good start..
The laws in this country involving financial criminality are pretty F'd up..
Siphon millions or billions from the company you work for, or create a ponzi scheme or other 'white collar' crime bilking people out of their money and at worst, its a minimum security prison-- the one with the tennis courts..
Why the discrepancy?
Well its not the everyday common person writing the laws are they?
Petty crime.. that's pretty clear cut.
Much of the financial crime that goes on everyday isn't even newsworthy..
Its banks giving mortgages to buy homes..
What do we mean?
A person or couple decide to purchase a home and after their down payment, $200,000 is left over which is obviously the mortgage..
Now people like focusing on interest rate and monthly payment so in this example, we'll say its a fixed interest at 4.15% for 30 years which when using an amortized calculator, means monthly payments of $972.21
Here's the part most people do not pay attention to..
That mortgage in this example.. If it is paid in full in 30 years with no early repayment.. Do you know how much that couple will be paying back in interest alone?
Nearly $150k in interest paid on a $200k loan (75% interest created from the loan) meaning when the final payment is made in 360 months, that person or couple spent nearly $350k with 43% as interest
We know life isn't that simple.. The person or couple could have sold the home for a profit in 5 years and repaid the loan, etc..
But unless they're moving back with their parents, rent or into a van down by the river, they will be getting a new mortgage on their new home and the cycle of financial criminality continues
And people do this every day..
But the math is really astounding when you look at it practically..
Two individuals.. both 18 years old.. One decides he wants a place of his own because he can't stand his parents and needs space, etc. The other is content where he is...
To keep this example very simple and easy for non-math people to get, we'll say from the time the one guy turned 18 up until his 30th birthday, he never spent more than $600 monthly on a rental due to always having roommates..
Between 18 and 30 is 13 years so $7,200 x 13 which equals...
$93,600 was wasted on rent in that time span..
Now the person who lived at home.. He worked just like the other guy but had no rent because his parents weren't the cheap petty type so he could save and save...
Now let's take this example one step further..
How much more or less will they be spending compared to one another based on a 30 yr fixed mortgage at 4.15%?
20's renter: $150k at 4.15% equals monthly payments of $729.15. By the time the loan is paid in full, nearly $113k in interest will have been paid on a $150k loan..
20's non-renter: $100k at 4.15% equals monthly payments of $486.10. That is $243.05 less monthly than the 20's renter...
By the time the loan is paid in full, just about $75k in interest will be paid off that $100k
The system is set up so people non-stop work to have anything even remotely nice or to call their own...
Massive education debts acquired before being legally allowed to drink a beer that can't be dissolved in bankruptcy..
A tax system where if you pay 33% income tax, every workday between Jan 1 and April 30th, you get up in the cold and the snow and the rain; every minute spent listening to a blowhard boss, etc just to pay the IRS..
But that's how the system and the banking apparatus survives... The creation of continual debt and the perpetual indebtedness of the populace
One little fishy at a time
Posted by Susquehanna at Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Now back to the yuk and bleh which is the current financial picture..
There was an interesting article in the Financial Times over the weekend which started with this amusing intro..
"How do you persuade people to pay for the air they breathe?"
They weren't talking about literal air.. They were talking about the Fed very soon going to start raising interest rates and how that would affect both Investors and a populace used to prolonged artificially low rates for mortgages and loans..
"After three rounds of quantitative easing, banks have reserves at the Fed almost $3tn greater than the regulatory requirement. Reserves are everywhere, like air above water: no bank needs to borrow them. The Fed could suck out a bit of oxygen and it would not make any difference to the price."
That's what happens when QE goes on indefinitely..
Sorta like you have an irrational panic that you're going to one day use the bathroom and find there's no toilet paper, so every time you go to a supermarket or a Target/Wal-Mart type store, you purchase a 24 pack..
And keep doing it for three years..
Be interesting to see what happens.. We imagine the pull back will be incredibly slow especially for the rest of 2014 since it is mid-terms and everything in Washington is politically motivated, even the Fed..
And we wonder how people will handle paying more for everything..
Overall, people seem to take up the mantra of the simple-minded horse 'Boxer' from George Orwell's 'Animal Farm' where his favorite expression was "I will work harder" followed by "Napoleon (the pig) is always right"
In the story Boxer serves as an allegory for the Russian working-class who helped to oust the Tsar Nicholas and establish the Soviet Union, but were eventually betrayed by the Stalinists.
But it can easily apply to people living in a supposed capitalist democracy where a few people at the top possess all the power and stringently hold on via an annual sham called elections.
Boxer is loyal.. patriotic.. believes his leaders.. does what he's told
And in the end, for his allegiance, Boxer ultimately converted to glue..
We wonder if people are truly prepared to work longer, harder and for more years of their life to pay more for food, utilities, mortgage, credit card debt, student loans, taxes, etc.. etc..
Will they take on second jobs then third and fourth.. All the while deeply loyal to their political party or 'guy' or 'gal' on the throne?
Will they keep getting married and keep making children even though their salaries and living conditions make it a major impracticality?
Or will people take the "Network" route i.e. the 1975 film and say "I'm mad as hell and not going to take it anymore!"?
We kinda know the answer.. The Boxer mantra
Squeaky wheels get the grease and blindly loyal horseys are converted into Elmer's
Posted by Susquehanna at Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Friday, May 23, 2014
Not a completed recovery but just one that is occurring?
One way is unemployment figures..
We're told as of April 2014, its 6.3% which seems pretty low compared to say 12 months ago much less 24, 36 or 48 months prior..
So that's good right?
Of course there are over 4 million people who have been out of work since the recession began who Still can not find a living wage but the Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't count them so.. eh..
6.3% is supposed to mean that percentage of the US adult population is out of work and yet other statistics show that for one reason or another, 1 in 3 Americans do not generate a paycheck.. (33%)
So.. hmm.. don't think we can really take unemployment too serious..
OK, so what else determines a recovery in progress?
Housing.. People's homes going up in value and others able to buy that a couple years for whatever reason may have not been able to..
But as we showed before, the only homes that are selling like hotcakes are those valued at $1 million and upwards..
Real Estate is also the only loophole to the Patriot Act thanks to the National Association of Realtors' lobby where foreigners can bring in large amounts of cash into this country without a background check of where it came from
Is your home worth over $1 million?
We will assume it is not, and those homes are either staying still or homes for sale are having to drop in price to attract a buyer..
Not to be promoting one website over another but check out Zillow.com Enter any address you wish of a property you know to be for sale...
Notice the original asking price compared to what its dropped to and what Zillow says market value is.. We practically guarantee 7 out of every 8 homes listed at $450k and under is Still depreciating
So we're going to assume if Americans aren't buying homes to live in, there isn't a recovery in progress occurring through housing..
So... What's next?
Consumption.. Is the US consumer spending and through their purchasing power and the personal debt taken on, stirring the wheels of 'recovery'?
US Retail Profits Miss By Most In 13 Years: "Consumer Is Not Back"
"Chains are missing projections by an average of 3.2 percent, with 87 retailers, or 70 percent of those tracked, having reported, researcher Retail Metrics Inc. said in a statement today.
That’s the worst performance relative to estimates since the fourth quarter of 2000, when they missed by 3.3 percent. Over the long term, chains typically beat by 3 percent, the firm said.
“The American consumer is not fully back and remains cautious,” Ken Perkins, Retail Metrics’ president, wrote in the report.
What’s more, the expectations the chains are missing have been significantly lowered. While analysts now project retailers’ earnings fell an average of 4.1 percent, back in January they had estimated a 13 percent gain.
Most retail segments are showing profit declines, with department stores, teen-apparel chains and home-furnishing stores faring the worst, Retail Metrics said. About 41 percent of retailers have missed estimates, while 45 percent have beat."
Yes we know, we know.. its the fault of the weather ~Big Yawnnn..
Thirteen years would make that since 2001...
Hmmm.. if the unemployment picture is still terrible, housing is in a rut and the consumer is floundering like a beached whale, then where is the engine driving this recovery in progress?
There isn't one?
But don't tell that to the President or the corporate media or Wall Street..
There's midterms coming up.. And network advertisers to appease... And stocks and commodities and 'great investment opportunities' to sell..
Shouldn't be a hard sell anyhow.. Who wants to think on Debby Downer realities when there's a full weekend of picnics, auto-racing and hot dog eating to come..
So we did our part.. We kept you abreast of things
Now we're off to the beach to get baked a nice crispy brown...
See everyone again on Tuesday..
Posted by Susquehanna at Friday, May 23, 2014
Thursday, May 22, 2014
And the first thing that came to mind was a naughty 'C' word which always comes to mind when I think of this nitwit
Harness anger to the ballot box?
God.. what a corporate Wall-Street loving/serving bitch like her parents..
'Umm.. Which party would you be implying they vote for?
'Which candidate would you be um.. inferring??
That's all politicians do.. play upon anger and fear and control and manipulate it for donations and build upon it until election and then we're all supposed to come together as one nation and love everyone
If people have anger deep inside them the last thing they should be doing is harnessing and repressing it, especially to a midterm election vote that is over five months away and a Presidential election twenty-nine months into the future...
Think about it in very simple mathematical terms..
If an election was held where a million people voted, your vote would be 1 divided by 1,000,000 which equals 0.000001 which translates to 1/10,000th of 1 percent (.0001%)
A Presidential election always generates at least 100 million votes even when the public is apathetic, so if you 'harnessed your anger' into your 2016 vote, your voice represents 0.00000001 or 1/ten-millionth of 1 percent (.000001%)
How much power do you or we or anyone else have to change anything nationally when each of us possesses a vote the equivalent of one-ten millionth of one percent?!!
People shouldn't be harnessing anger.. they should be unleashing their rage.
Yell and scream.. Post a million comments on a thousand message corporate message boards.. Organize boycotts.. Galvanize protest with like-minded souls.. block an entrance way.. throw a rock at anyone who says they work in finance..
We sincerely don't give a damn what you do to get the toxins out of you and into the public domain so the 'Man' starts to fear you but if you feel angry and frustrated, stop repressing it..
Stoicism is not respected.
That is the primary reason this blog was created 44 months ago..
And the more we'd express what we knew verbally to those in our inner-circles, the more they'd get turned off because their brains just couldn't handle it..
Some would completely ignore the content of what we were verbally expressing and focus on our tone and vocal volume, as if its even remotely possible to express genuine passion and ire in a monotone
Others would listen.. nod.. then put their heads back into the sand and not even partake in a debate to agree or disagree
And of course others would only listen when we would attack the 'other' political party.. If we expressed it as evil-Bush and Cheney, some would happily listen.. Then close minds immediately when expressing despicable Obama..
So forty-four months ago we created 'Ants & Grasshoppers'- a 100% advertisement free, uncensored outlet for information and contrarian views not only on economy, finance and politics but all issues facing society and presented in a clear, unambiguous way
And not to toot horns, but 'A&G' has been a continual success in terms of readership and followers especially among other blogs so we know we're not alone out there among the dense soup-fog of propaganda that gives the appearance all is well...
We certainly aren't doing what we do for the money...
We don't charge anything..
Agree/disagree? It doesn't matter if you think we're 100% wrong.
If we stimulate thought, we're happy.. If you do agree with us and feel embolden into some form of action, we're even happier..
Things are not getting better in this nation economically.. We sincerely wish they were but they are not..
We explained a multitude of times previously why currently its so..
A do-nothing Congress including a cowardly impotent Republican Party who is so afraid of losing midterms, they can't even mold any attack on Obama without fear of being labelled racist..
And like the lobster in the pot, very slowly burning to literal death as the heat level rises, we are as a nation experiencing it as well..
The origin point is 1971 so that is 43 years and counting..
We left the gold standard and the quality in the standard of living or middle-class Americans has slowly disintegrated as inflation has gone up, the dollar's value has dropped and personal credit card debt was introduced in the early 80's to fill the void of smaller paychecks..
And that fight is for economic survival.. And that of your children..
That Fed Reserve balance sheet has to be repaid.. The debt ceiling Obama keeps raising.. All the vacations and needless trips abroad..
Its no different than a personal credit card..
And everyone pays in one way or another..
So stop being loyal elephant or dumb donkey..
Be angry!! Be furious!! Be vocal!!
Or continue being inconsequential...
Posted by Susquehanna at Thursday, May 22, 2014