Category Archives: Uncategorized

Thanks and Farewell

For anyone who has visited the site recently it has been obvious that I have not been writing or adding content. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, my wife and I recently had our first child, a son, and I have enjoyed spending all my extra time with him. Secondly, I have been in the interview process with a Wealth Management firm in Portland, OR.

I am happy to report that at the conclusion of the interview process I accepted an offer and will be starting for them later this month. While this is good news for me, it means that I will no longer be adding to this site due to potential conflicts of interest that could arise and a general lack of time to maintain the blog and focus on a new position……oh, and the level three CFA exam in June. Going forward the plan may include a blog at the new position. If that happens, I will make sure to post a link here on this site.

I have very much enjoyed writing this blog and have learned quite a bit in the process. I hope everyone who has read it has found something beneficial in my content and that I have made a valuable contribution to the blogosphere.

I would like to thank everyone who has checked out the site for stopping by and adding to the discussion. I would also like to thank a few specific individuals who have provided encouragement and inspiration for the blog. To Ed Easterling (Crestmont Research), your analysis always inspires me. Thanks for being so quick and willing to share your expertise. (Ed has written two of the best books on the stock market I have ever read, check them out.) Jason Leach (Craven Brothers) for your encouragement and advice. You went well above the call of duty for someone you have never met. I hope we remedy that some day. Jacob Wolinsky (Value Walk) for being one of the first to support the site and thinking my content was worthy of posting on your great and ever improving site. Doug Short (dshort.com) for your kind words and the links. Also, thanks to the following individuals for thinking enough of the site to repost articles or frequently link (they all have great sites, check them out). Mish at Global Economic Analysis, Prieur du Plessis at Investment Postcards from Cape Town, Charles Kirk at The Kirk Report and Dr. Charlie Tian at GuruFocus.

Sincerely,

Isaac Presley

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Taibbi: Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?

A good, yet infuriating article today from Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone. I think this sums up nicely why Main Street is fed up with Wall Street and their minions in Washington. An excerpt below but the whole article is definitely worth reading.

The deal looked like a classic case of insider trading. But in the summer of 2005, when Aguirre told his boss he planned to interview Mack, things started getting weird. His boss told him the case wasn’t likely to fly, explaining that Mack had “powerful political connections.” (The investment banker had been a fundraising “Ranger” for George Bush in 2004, and would go on to be a key backer of Hillary Clinton in 2008.)

Aguirre also started to feel pressure from Morgan Stanley, which was in the process of trying to rehire Mack as CEO. At first, Aguirre was contacted by the bank’s regulatory liaison, Eric Dinallo, a former top aide to Eliot Spitzer. But it didn’t take long for Morgan Stanley to work its way up the SEC chain of command. Within three days, another of the firm’s lawyers, Mary Jo White, was on the phone with the SEC’s director of enforcement. In a shocking move that was later singled out by Senate investigators, the director actually appeared to reassure White, dismissing the case against Mack as “smoke” rather than “fire.” White, incidentally, was herself the former U.S. attorney of the Southern District of New York — one of the top cops on Wall Street.

Pause for a minute to take this in. Aguirre, an SEC foot soldier, is trying to interview a major Wall Street executive — not handcuff the guy or impound his yacht, mind you, just talk to him. In the course of doing so, he finds out that his target’s firm is being represented not only by Eliot Spitzer’s former top aide, but by the former U.S. attorney overseeing Wall Street, who is going four levels over his head to speak directly to the chief of the SEC’s enforcement division — not Aguirre’s boss, but his boss’s boss’s boss’s boss. Mack himself, meanwhile, was being represented by Gary Lynch, a former SEC director of enforcement.

Aguirre didn’t stand a chance. A month after he complained to his supervisors that he was being blocked from interviewing Mack, he was summarily fired, without notice. The case against Mack was immediately dropped: all depositions canceled, no further subpoenas issued.

Source: Rolling Stone

Weekend Reading: A Day Late Edition

Links for the Week ending Feb-13, 2011

I apologize for the delay. I had a rather busy weekend and did not get this out yesterday. Here are some of my favorite reads from last week but first the early candidate for quote of the week comes from John Hussman. As always his weekly market comment is a must read if you have not already done so.

And here we are again. This is not to say that we can rule out yet higher valuations, but with no transformative technologies driving the economy, little expansion in capital investment, and ongoing retrenchment in consumer balance sheets, I can’t help but think that the “virtuous cycle” rhetoric of Ben Bernanke is an awfully thin gruel by comparison. We should not deserve to be called “investors” if we fail to recognize that valuations are richer today than at any point in history, save for the few months before the 1929 crash, and a bubble period that has been rewarded by zero total return for the S&P 500 since 2000. Indeed, the stock market has lagged the return on low-yielding Treasury bills since August 1998. I am not sure that even members of my own profession have learned anything from this.

The Links…..

Discount to the Value Investing Congress

Twice a year some of the world’s brightest value investors converge at the Value Investing Congress. Attend for yourself to find out why. Act now in order to take advantage of this large discount offered to the readers of Seeking Delta. Save big but only till February 17th so do not delay.

Past speakers have included Read more of this post

The Age of De-Leveraging

The following presentation comes to us from Seeking Delta reader Jason Leach. Jason is Director of Research and Portfolio Manager at Craven Brothers Wealth Advisors in Dallas, TX. He is also a CFA Charterholder.

The presentation is a fabulous info-graphic on how we arrived at our current economic situation, where the economy stands today and where we may be heading in the future. Feel free to read below or click on over to the Craven Brothers site and view.