Category Archives: Rant
There are still people that will tell you the average guy on the street should back himself up financially with ” some smart stock choices”
But this is what you will be competing with. There are absolutely no ethics involved. I think that’s a fair statement.
The “average guy” will,…. on average,…. come out on the short end of this kind of deal. Don’t you think?
Unless you’re equipped to keep up with the ” trade ever faster, using lasers and microwaves ” scenario. Maybe my friend Toph can get me hooked up,…. he’s in the laser business.
Chris-Toph…… think you could set me up with one of them new-fangled really quick laser thingys that you play with?? I’d like something in the 2 or 3 millisecond response range,….. so that I can keep up with the rest of the boys. Get back to me on that.
Anyway, no use ranting. This appears to be an absolutely fair, reasonable, practice. The playing field is very, very level here.
High-frequency trading is bad for everybody, including high-frequency traders, according to new research from a university that produces economic reports that are sold early to high-frequency traders.
Congratulations, world, these are your modern financial markets. The study, by the University of Michigan’s engineering department, focuses on one particular tactic of high-speed trading, known as “latency arbitrage.”
This is the practice of gaming the split-second lags between the time trades are made and the time those trades are crunched by a central clearing house called the Security Information Processor into a price quote called the National Best Bid And Offer. Traders with super-fast computers can calculate the NBBO faster than the Security Information Processor can do it, and they take advantage of the tiny gaps between the old NBBO and the new NBBO.
The researchers say this trade somehow reduces the total amount of profits in the system — in other words, it not only hurts regular, slowpoke investors, but also other high-speed traders. Whatever profit each individual robot makes on a latency arbitrage trade is less than the amount of profit that is destroyed by the practice, according to the report. This is just more evidence that zapping thousands of trades per second does nothing for society.
High-speed trading’s defenders, including academics whose research is bankrolled by high-speed trading firms, claim that this sort of foolishness improves market function and makes trading cheaper for everybody, which gives investors more money to spend on puppies and charity and whatnot.
But the University of Michigan researchers, who were paid by grants from the National Science Foundation, say the latency arbitrage trading they studied actually hurts market efficiency by widening the spread between the prices that buyers will pay and the prices that sellers will accept.
Ironically, the University of Michigan has recently been involved in a scandal-like brouhaha involving high-speed trading. The university produces a monthly consumer-sentiment index that it sells to Thomson Reuters for $1 million per year. For a fee, Reuters gives traders a look at these sentiment numbers five minutes before the rest of the suckers on Wall Street see it. For an even bigger fee, high-speed traders can get the numbers five minutes and two seconds before everybody else, giving them time to make high-speed trades on the numbers.
The university told CNBC that it thought the arrangement didn’t violate any regulations and that it could not produce the sentiment index without the money it gets from Reuters. Reuters said it has always made these arrangements public knowledge.
It’s not clear just how much money high-speed traders can make on sneak peeks at consumer-sentiment data, or on latency arbitrage or other shenanigans. Obviously trading firms think there is gold in them thar milliseconds, as they have been steadily ramping up their efforts to trade ever faster, using lasers and microwaves.
Still, there are signs that the growth of high-speed trading has stalled, Bloomberg Businessweek noted earlier this month, with trading volume and profits falling. Maybe traders are figuring out they’re mainly taking from themselves.
I don’t write much. So far, I’ve found that I’m not much of a writer. Maybe some day I’ll put a little effort towards trying to change that. Maybe.
So I just like to try to get a point or two across.
Here’s my very Christmassy point for today.
F#%k you, David Koch. You rich, subsidized bastard. Keep your oil money, but leave the helping of others to people with hearts. Stay out of the way.
From The Nation
Lee Fang on December 22, 2012 – 2:35 AM ET
Billionaire David Koch’s prime political organization, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), having failed in its $125 million quest to oust President Barack Obama, is now aiming at a slightly less sophisticated political target: victims of Hurricane Sandy.Hurricane Sandy was the second most costly in American history, leaving 100 lives lost, over $50 billion in devastation and tens of thousands of damaged or destroyed homes. Legislative efforts to help those who survived Hurricane Sandy’s wrath will reach a major stumbling block.
Earlier this week, AFP, which is chaired by Koch and believed to be financed by several other plutocrats from the New York City region, released a letter warning members of Congress not to vote for the proposed federal aid package for victims of the storm that swept New Jersey, New York City and much of the surrounding area in October. An announcement on the group’s website says that the vote next week for the Sandy aid package will be a “key vote”—meaning senators who support sending money for reconstruction could face an avalanche of attack ads in their next election. Already, opposition to the bill is growing, although it passed one procedural hurdle last night.
There is some legitimate criticism with aspects of the legislation, including the fact that some of the money will go to non-Sandy related reconstruction efforts in disaster areas. For AFP, however, the whole bill must die and victims of the storm deserve no help from the government.
Koch’s top deputy in New Jersey, a surly gentleman named Steve Lonegan, who heads the local AFP state chapter, called the aid package a “disgrace.” “This is not a federal government responsibility,” Lonegan told reporters. “We need to suck it up and be responsible for taking care of ourselves.”
I try to be at least somewhat socially conscious, when spending my money. I avoid the likes of Walmart because I find them an awful organization, in the way they treat their employees, their effect on local communities, etc. Yet I do shop with Amazon, which has a less than stellar track record, but are not approching the ‘evil’ threshold that a Walmart does in my eyes. What I am saying is there is a pick and choose aspect to it for me. I have never been much for the boycott thing, because most of the time when a lefty boycott comes to the fore, I don’t shop there anyway. Chik-Fil-A … I stopped patronizing that joint ages ago when I became aware of the owners beliefs. So the recent boycott – no problem. If ya agree with them eat there, if you don’t then don’t. And that’s pretty much how I look at it.
This recent bit with the restaurant chain owners coming out against Obamacare … this really pisses me off. I mean it is one thing to piss and moan about how much it is going to cost the companies (which isn’t a lot with respect to revenues), threaten to raise prices, or offshore (which they can’t do – HA!). It is entirely another thing to say you are going to actively screw your employees in order to not have to comply with the law. Papa John’s is the best example thus far. The company has revenue in excess of $1.2 billion, yet they are going totally apeshit about having to pay $5-8 million a year to provide health care for their employees, a cost Forbes (no bastion of liberalism) has estimated would translate into an average price increase of a five cents per pizza. Papa John’s response? To screw their employees by cutting their hours so they don’t have to comply, rather than charge an extra 5 cents per pizza. Seriously?!? you are so rabidly capitalist and self absorbed you are going to screw your employees over 5 cents per pie? Over an amount that is about one half of one percent of your annual revenues? Because offering them health insurance is so awful?
“Fuck you” is about all I can come up with … that and I am not going to be giving you one red cent for your crappy pizza.
Now by no means is Papa John’s alone in this, they have just gotten the most press. The chain restaurant industry in general has made similar rumblings: Denny’s, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Applebee’s.
I ask that you think about where your restaurant dollars are spent, and that if you agree with my take, not to spend your money at these establishments. Again this isn’t hard for me, I don’t eat at these restaurants anyway. I choose to take my dinning out business to locally owned restaurants. They tend to treat the workers better, have better food, better service, and my money stays around home – so I make an active decision to give them my business. In Papa John’s case I am going to have to be a little more proactive. I work at a university, and we have a Papa John’s right off of campus, so they get a lot of business in providing munchies for lectures and gatherings. I will be talking to various people and organizations that sponsor talks and lectures to try and get them to refrain from buying their pizza.
I use Papa John’s fairly regularly.
No more. You make your point, Papa John Schnatter,…… I’ll make mine.
Anyone who throws this much bullshit spin towards accomplishing nothing more than making a political statement,……… a friggin’ political statement about needing to be able to refuse health care for his employees.
To hear the son of a bitch talk, you’d think this was going to break his company.
Apparently it won’t.
You know…… I would have no problem kicking another 14 cents towards a damn pizza if I knew it was to help someone get a blood test done at some point in time.
Sick, sick people.
John Schnatter wants to raise the cost of your pizza in response to new health care costs.
Papa John Schnatter is no fan of Obamacare. The CEO of Papa John’s International has occasionally railed against the reform for months. Leading up to the election, he was a Mitt Romney supporter and fundraiser. Now that the election is over, he’s doubling down on his claim that the health care reform will force his company to increase pizza prices by 10-14 cents a pie. He estimates that Obamacare will end up costing his company $5-8 million annually.
The issue: the Affordable Care Act dictates that full-time employees (30 hours or more per week) at companies with more than 50 workers need to be provided health insurance. Schnatter has further claimed that some employers will cut employee hours to avoid providing them with healthcare.
Last year, Papa John’s International captured $1.218 billion in revenue. Total operating expenses were $1.131 billion. So if Schnatter’s math is accurate (Obamacare will cost his company $5-8 million more annually), then new regulation translates into a .4% to .7% (yes, fractions of a percent) expense increase. It’s difficult to set that ratio against the proposed pie increase, given size and topping differentials, but many of their large specialty pizzas run for $16. Remarkably, a 10-14 cent increase on a $16 pizza falls in a comparable range: .6% to.9%. But the cost transference becomes less equitable if you’re looking at medium pizzas, which run closer to $12, meaning a .8% to 1.15% price increase.
For the sake of argument, let’s say that Papa John’s sells exactly half medium/half large specialty pizzas. Averaging the ranges for both sizes, then averaging that product yields a .86% price increase — well outside the range of what Schnatter says Obamacare will cost him.
So how much would prices go up, under these 50/50 conditions, if they were to fairly reflect the increased cost of doing business onset by Obamacare? Roughly 3.4 to 4.6 cents a pie.
In September, the company announced that it would be giving away 2 million free pizzas. That was, of course, a promotion designed to increase brand awareness and to invite consumers to try the brand — with the ultimate goal of selling more pizzas. Those giveaways can’t really be cataloged alongside sales that would have been made otherwise. But just in case you’re curious, that would be the equivalent of $24 million to $32 million in pizza revenue.
Not counting my chickens just yet. Buuut now that it is over, here is the list of people who can KISS MY ASS
Joe Walsh (not the musician)