Patrick's Rants


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12/30/2011

Callista Gingrich Promotes Music In the Schools

Filed under: Politics — site admin @ 9:39 am


Schools are cutting out funding for music! Oh no! The Repugnicans are going to save us from these cuts to music funding! So let’s see… the Republicans in the great state of Arizona have increased decreased classroom funding, completely paid for building maintenance cut the building maintenance payments to 1% of the Arizona mandated amounts, and as Republicans are so cognizant of the importance of education, have generously funded our state public schools consistently funded public schools in the bottom 3-5 (we are not always dead last!)
Callista, I’ll believe it when I see it and your Youtube video does not convince me. The proof is in the state budget – oh you do know the Federal government has to stay out of local education, right? You know that your party wants to set the states “free” from the federal yoke, right? What’s that gonna do to your music programs? Oh, right. Exactly what is going on now. Music is relegated to an after school program, not a core subject. Wonder how that’s gonna work in the inner-city when Newt sends all the “poor kids” into their after school work program?

This video is hypocritical. (Unless you plan to pay for the music programs with your Tiffany’s charge account.)

12/22/2011

ANH Goes Ex-Div

Filed under: Money,Stocks — site admin @ 7:58 pm

ANH is ex-dividend today meaning that if you buy it today you don’t get the $0.21/share dividend that pays in January. I was trying to do some research on how the dividend affects the price of put options and ran across a blog post from 2008 titled How dividends effect option pricing, which basically says the other traders have already priced the dividend into the value of the options – which very is likely to be true.
Looking at the change, or lack of change, in the price of ANH options from yesterday to today does seem to indicate that the price is already figured in, the dividend is already figured in the option premium.

12/21/2011

What? A Vacuum Cleaner? Yep!

Filed under: Reviews — site admin @ 7:35 am

We recently had to replace our aging vacuum cleaner with a new one. The model we decided on is the long named “Bissell Lift-Off MultiCyclonic Pet Upright Vacuum with Detachable Canister, Bagless, 89Q9″. This is a great vacuum cleaner, has plenty of suction, the main body detaches so you can take it out to your car or use it on the stairs. The pet brush is operated on suction so I was a little skeptical but it gets a pretty fast spin to clean off the bed covers that all of our cats sleep on when we aren’t looking. The bin detaches easily to empty – I prefer to empty after each run. With pet hair filling the canister you really should empty frequently since it seems to fill the most around the back where it’s harder to see. There are two switches at the top of the removable works that run the vacuum motor and the brush. Of course when the vacuum is in the upright position the brush is disabled so you don’t have to worry about the brush burning your carpet while using the extension and tools.

And. This vacuum is super quiet compared to others we have owned. The cats don’t run from it and even my nephew said he was going to tell his mom to get one.

While this is a great machine, the one minor drawback, as I see it, is the design of the cleaning extension. The different tools are smaller in diameter to the first segment of the extension, but then the second segment before the flexible hose constricts down by about 1/2”. So far, this has not created any issues with stuff getting stuck in the extension tube, but it could. And since the tube is telescoping (which saves space on the back of the machine) I was able to get a hair pin (can you say three sets of girl’s hair?) stuck between the two sleeves which took some work to get worked free.
This is a great vacuum cleaner and it might even inspire me to finally vacuum out my car.

12/12/2011

YHOO

Filed under: Money,Stocks — site admin @ 7:43 pm

Turned the Dec 17 call, closing it out for $.05. I sold the calls for $.80 minus commissions – puts me around a 1200% return. I like the 17.00 calls since the 6 month high for YHOO is 16.79. I’m looking ahead to see what I can collect for January 17.50 calls, thinking I might be able to get around $.60. The other option is to sell the next strike price up, 16.00, free up some cash and start selling the 14.00 puts.


Disclaimer: Yeah, I like YHOO right now, but this is not investment advice.

12/5/2011

Banks Benefited from Secret Fed Loans

Filed under: Money,Politics — site admin @ 7:01 am

You have probably already heard about the previously secret loans the Federal Reserve Bank made to prop up the nation’s largest banks – so they could show a strong balance sheet and qualify for the bank bailout, TARP. Bloomberg News gives a pretty lengthy look at these secret loans. These very same banks, propped up by the Federal Government (which is you and me) continued to foreclose on delinquent borrowers, made record massive profits off the extremely cheap money, gave oversized bonuses to employees, and ultimately tried to charge $5/month to use your debit card.

Remind me again why regulation designed to reduce risk, limit institution size and limit (or at least expose) fees on customers is bad?

12/3/2011

ABAT Dumped

Filed under: Money,Stocks — site admin @ 2:49 pm

ABAT was delisted as of 11/30/2011. The price promptly plunged from just under $1.00 to less than $.40 and I closed out the last of my holdings at $.41 for a significant loss and picked up another 100 shares of CMRG for $3.20 looking to get out at $4.20. I will be reevaluating how I manage downside risk to see if I need to make any changes in this part of my portfolio management.


I owned shares of ABAT until 11/30, then I ran for the door. I’m not recommending buying or selling ABAT

EU Calls For Audit Firm Breakup

Filed under: General,Money — site admin @ 2:15 pm

The European Union is calling for large CPA-type firms to break up their businesses if they offer consulting services in addition to audit services. The proposed law would separate these businesses and – hopefully – give them a little more independence when reviewing the books of public companies. In Deja Vu All Over Again, I wrote Leaving a tiny piece of regulation in place that kept CPA firms from offering “consulting services”, a euphemism for “what else can we ‘sell’ to our clients?” might have saved Arther Anderson and even possibly prevented the implosion of Enron.

I was, of course, alluding to the expansion of services offered to clients of accounting firms. If the same firm that offers consulting on advanced computer systems, or complex off the books transactions, or SPEs looks over those arrangements to determine if they are legal, appropriate, properly accounted for and reported to shareholders who is the audit firm servicing? In the instance of Arther Anderson, it was argued that the auditors were being asked to approve the validity of the moves made by the consulting arm – of Arther Anderson. The clients’ interests, that is the public, shareholders and employees of Enron, are at odds with the interests of the consulting arm. If the consulting arm signs off on a 20 step transaction that is designed to “move” losses of the books so a company can report increased quarterly profits, the audit arm should recognize the invalidity of such a move and not sign off. When you are talking about two parts of the same company it’s hard to keep that separate. It seems the EU agrees. Consulting and auditing will have to be performed by different companies if this law is enacted and enforced. I think that’s a good thing.

11/29/2011

The Mark of Cain

Filed under: Politics — site admin @ 7:44 pm

That bastion of Main Stream Liberal Media, Fox 5 Atlanta, is attacking Herman Cain’s character. What’s that? Fox News leans right? Oh. Well, they still did it. And by attacking I mean interviewed a woman who claims to have had an affair with Herman Cain for the past 13 years. I think he should keep running, don’t you?

Georgia Woman Claims 13-Year Affair with Herman Cain: MyFoxATLANTA.com

ABAT News

Filed under: Money,Stocks — site admin @ 9:04 am

ABAT filed form 8-K, basically a supplemental or informational filing stating that NASDAQ is taking steps to delist ABAT.
The main reasons stated are:

  • Listing Rule 5250(a). The notice states that the Company failed to provide information requested by NASDAQ, specifically cash confirmations from the banks holding the Company’s funds prepared in the presence of personnel employed by the Company’s independent audit firm.
  • Listing Rule 5250(c)(1). The notice states that the Company failed to file its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended September 30, 2011.

ABAT does appear to have filed a notice that its September 30, 2011 10-Q would be late. And they have filed a number of late 10-Qs without apparent repercussion.

So what’s different this time? According the this recent letter to shareholders it is the short sellers, the lawyers and a complicit NASDAQ (for believing the articles on Seeking Alpha). The stress of asking for cash balances at the banks has caused top level defections, according to the Chairman, of the CFO and the Controller. Is Chinese culture so different from ours that the Chairman’s claims have merit? Could be. It could also be that there is no cash to verify – which would be bad for all shareholders. ABAT had to meet all the NASDAQ requirements for initial listing on the exchange. NASDAQ had the duty to verify the submitted information and listed ABAT on the exchange. Now the deadline of November 30 looms large.


Disclaimer: I’m holding my shares as I currently have no alternative. I’m not recommending this or any other stock – this is merely a peak into my own behavior.

This reinforces my personal rule that not all my account be tied up in a single stock.

11/28/2011

Real or not Real?

Filed under: General — site admin @ 7:09 am

I thought this was an April Fool’s story at first. I’m still not convinced that this “girl with no vagina gets pregnant” story is true. Hmm.

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