The Public Loves Wall Street Again!

2037754785_05a628201f_bWhat is this blasphemy you say?  One of our main tenets is to observe what people DO with their money, and not what they preach.  The public clearly loves Bank of America and Wall Street again because how else would Bank of America be able to raise $19 billion from us, to pay us back?

In an “Open Letter To Vikram Pandit, CEO of Citigroup” we urged Vik to sell the 34% government stake back to the very public that bailed Citigroup out before year-end. Why?  So Citigroup can pay their employees big bonuses in 2009 by saying they are no longer under the government’s stewardship.  Sure, paying back $45 billion in TARP sounds like a lot, but Bank of America just did it!

In fact, joining Bank of America are Bank of NY Mellon Group, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and State Street who’ve all been able to pay back their TARP loans and pay their people handsomely this year.  This begs the question, what’s wrong with Citigroup, one of my main “go broke banks” used to optimize my finances.


Why The World Forgives Rich And Famous People For Cheating

As soon as I got into work one morning, my female colleague blurted out, “OH MY GAWD! GUESS WHAT?!

“What? Hrmmm,” I replied as I was still groggy eyed after last night’s client dinner.

“I was on the same plane as Gavin Newsom (Mayor of San Francisco) and he sat in economy with me!  He is SOO cute and yummy!  So tall and handsome, he’s going to do great things for California and our country!” she gushed.

The funny thing is, she was complaining just earlier this year how bad the “Care Not Cash” legislation turned out, and how he was contributing to the big overspend problem we have here in California (we’re broke).  I can still clearly remember how mad she and her friends were when the story broke that Gavin cheated on his wife with his campaign manager’s wife! YOWZA!  Gavin was the next Bill Clinton!

Phrases such as: “Men are pigs!” “Men only think with their smaller head!” “You guys disgust me so no, you can’t have some of my salad!”, were bantered around the office for weeks.  My friend was a hater for life!  Even the guys on our floor, who usually joke about stuff like this were shocked.

So what really happened between now and then, to make my colleague fall head over heels in love with Gavin Newsom?  Furthermore, how is it that after violating a key “MAN CODE” (don’t sleep with your friends girlfriend/wife) does he get re-elected soundly, and has a popularity rating higher than ever?


Domain Name Investing 101: Online Real Estate as an Asset Class

I’m always searching for new ways to make money and regular reader, Joel (aka CreditCardChaser) provides some very unique insights on a new asset class, domain names!  I remember back in 2000, was sold for $5 million bucks to the government and I thought gosh dang!  After reading this article, hopefully we’ll all have our own success in something so potentially lucrative. Enjoy!  Sam-urai

Chances are that when you read the term “domain name investing” you immediately have the following questions pop up:

  1. Umm [insert embarrassed pause here], what exactly is a domain name anyway? Do you mean like a website? (No)
  2. What in the world is domain name investing and why should I care?
  3. How would I go about investing in domain names in the first place?

My goals for this article are to show you that: A) Domain names have inherent value B) Domain names can potentially be a great asset class to invest in and C) Give you some practical guidance on how the domain name investing process works.

Domain Name Definition

The Katana: Don’t Count Out The US Consumer! 11/30

katana-1The US consumer is alive and kicking! With the world stock markets crashing last week, nobody really cares about the financial losses in their portfolios, except for whether they can save $100 on a netbook by standing in line for 5 hours!  I expect the markets to rebound this week as the UAE publicly declares it will back all of Dubai World’s debts.

We will never learn from our mistakes because the desire for things is just too great.  You can bet your last dollar that if there’s any hint of a bubble in a new asset class, it’ll grow bigger because everybody will want in to try and capitalize.  I know I will at least try!

The fact of the matter is, if you don’t care, I don’t care because a rebound in heavy consumer spending leads to robust profits, which ultimately leads to higher stock prices and a “better” economy.  We need others to spend, so the rest of us can get rich. With rabid spending on the rise, I’m hopeful 1Q10 is going to be a job market frenzy.  The in-store retail sales figures were only up around 0.5%-1% YoY last week, but we should expect a surge in online sales.

With only one month left in the year, do you feel you are on track to achieve your financial goals? My goals were simply to stay alive during Armageddon, squirrel as much money away into savings, and be the most invaluable colleague as possible.  Of course, what I should have done was bet the ranch on the stock market in February and win the World Series of Poker, but I’m not smart enough.

It warms my heart to see such robust community participation.  I’ve been to numerous sites where I ask a question to the webmaster and it’s just crickets (silence).  I rarely go back as a result.  Hence, I promise to continue being accessible!  To facilitate, I’ve installed the “Comment Luv” plug-in. This plug-in showcases your latest blog post title with link whenever you leave a message and click the box.  The highlight spurs me and others to check your posts as a result.

Finally, can someone educate me about Technocrati? I signed up a long time ago, and have done nothing except put the badge up.  Is Technocrati useful to you?  If so, in what way?  I’m also wondering what’s the point of the, if you don’t donate money to them?  I signed up, but because I don’t give them money, I’m on the back page and my posts never get highlighted.  Time to remove?  Moving them to the footer sounds like a solution.


The World Stock Markets Are Crashing & You’re Going Shopping?!

It’s Black Shopping Weekend and world stock markets are crumbling anywhere between 2-5% because Dubai World, the country’s main investing arm can’t pay its $60bn in debt for another 6 months!

Who would have thought that one of the most glitzy countries in the world would have trouble paying their own debt on time?  The fear of systemic contagion is real as investors sell first, and ask questions later.

If Dubai can’t pay their debts, who else can’t?  The US of course, but that’s OK!  Everybody will fund our debt as you observe the US dollar and US treasuries strengthen.  Don’t believe me?  The 10-yr US treasury yield has dipped below 3.25% again.  What inflation?  Cheap money forever!

Investors around the world can mock us, and debase our weak currency all they want!  You shouldn’t care, because all you have to do is watch what investors DO and not what they say.  Investors are rushing in to our arms today crying “We love you America!  Give us shelter!”

So many have disagreed with our “A Weak Dollar Doesn’t Matter Folks!” thesis.  Yet so many are going to shop till they drop for pieces of junk they shouldn’t be buying in the first place!  It’s Black Friday every day at Ross, TJ Max, and Craigslist, so save your stress and relax!  If you go shopping today and check your 401k and stock accounts when you return, you might just have to go back on Monday and return everything!

* CONTEST * Predict where the Dow Jones closes today (11/27) and win a free pat on the back!  I predict 10,288.  I’ll also highlight the winner in my weekly Katana wrap.

Readers, are there any out there who are relaxing at home in their pajamas being entertained by the media coverage of shopping frenzy?  Why don’t people just shop on-line instead, given similar deals?  If you make $20/hr from work, but stand in line for 5 hours to save $100 on a laptop, doesn’t the bring you back to even?

Dale Siegel is offering a second “The New Rules of Mortgage” book as a giveaway.  Why not just comment and give yourself a chance to win?  What’s cheaper than FREE?


Financial Samurai - “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”

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