Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2008:April:15 Tuesday <Monday, Wednesday>
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2008/4/15-23 [Computer/Companies/Yahoo] UID:49752 Activity:nil
2008/4/15-17 [Reference/Tax] UID:49753 Activity:moderate
4/15    Happy Tax Day!  Don't forget, if you think taxes should be higher, you
        can send in more than CA/US says you owe!
        \_ I thin gas and diesel taxes should be higher for everyone.
        \_ I think gas tax should be higher for everyone.
           \_ McCain wants to reduce the gas tax in summer to "help motorists".
              That reduction will help for about, um, 4 weeks as the increase
              in gas prices swallow up the savings.  Stupidity is becoming the
              national pastime.
              \_ Deficits don't matter.
           \_ If you want to pay more tax, go ahead.  Leave the rest of us out
              of your destructive philosophy.
              \_ Deficits don't matter.
              \_ I don't want to pay more tax.  I want people to use less gas.
                 --- PP
2008/4/15-23 [Finance/Investment, Reference/RealEstate] UID:49754 Activity:nil
4/15    Massive numbers of homes with negative equity
        and the associated article:
        I had no idea the negative equity problem was as widespread as the
        first link would suggest.
        \_ It's "Number of homes purchased in 2006"!
        \_ It's "homes ***purchased in 2006*** with negative equity"!
            \_ well taht certainly lowers the scale of the problem, but its
               still pretty big.
        \_ "most affected are those who bought recently with little or no money
           down". hahah, damn fools.
           \_ I'd rather be negative equity with no money down than in the
              same situation but 20% commited.
              \_ Well, with 20% down and the same price they would be in a
                 better situation with the mortgage. The example woman
                 seemed to still want to live in the house she bought.
                 She bought more house than she could afford, relying on
                 unreasonable price increases.
        \_ ObSuburbsSuck
2008/4/15-23 [Computer/Companies/Google] UID:49755 Activity:high
4/15    Anyone got any random investment tips? I am kinda at a loss of what to do.
        Agriculture and energy are at record highs...
        \_ .. NOT - via NOSOF ... assay results coming in soon
        \_ I'm liking HRP, currently paying 12.2% dividend; there's some
           risk, but they shouldn't be as exposed to some of the macro
           issues as a lot of stocks.  Ex-div is coming up next week.
           LNUX is a nice speculative play, low risk, sell on spikes.
           If your time horizon is long, I very much like GOOG at these
           levels.  -tom
           \_ GOOG is as safe as Bear Sterns.
              \_ No way man! GOOG will double every 3 years. There is no
                 way anyone else can enter the search engine and online
                 advertising space and wait until you see what sooper
                 dooper projects GOOG's army of PhDs, after slaving away
                 for years in secrecy,  are about to bring to market.
              \_ Revenues up 42%, earnings up 31%, $1.31 billion in profit
                 for the quarter.  $12 billion in cash and equivalents, zero
                 debt.  Nice analysis, chump.  -tom
                 \_ You forgot religious fanaticism among a devoted group
                    of tools.
                    \_ To put that another way, Google has a strong brand.
                       That's part of why I bought Apple when I did (now a
                       16-bagger).  GOOG up 85 points today, 12%.  Glad I
                       doubled my position a couple weeks ago.  -tom
                       \_ that's nice. go drink some coolaid.
                          \_ I'll be able to afford some, with all the money
                             I've made on GOOG and AAPL.  How's that GOOG
                             short at 100 going?  -tom
                             \_ I shorted at 680, and kind of panic'ed when
                                it was in the mid 700 range but dumped it
                                at around 490. So actually, I did well. I'm
                                waiting for it to go back up over and
                                over again. Love GOOG.          -short guy
                                \_ Should I still wait for it to drop
                                   back under $100? -short GOOG $100 guy
                             \_ I think you're a fool for owning GOOG and
                                AAPL right now, personally. Are you
                                cherry-picking your returns to show us
                                your best picks and ignoring your poor
                                picks? I mean, with a 16-bagger you should
                                probably be retired by now. I think most
                                of us (CS geeks) owned AAPL at some point,
                                but not many bought and stayed in over the
                                last 12 years. I first bought AAPL in 1996
                                when I got my first real job, but so what?
                                AAPL had some really crappy times in there
                                where it almost went under completely. What's
                                most important is valuation, and I see GOOG
                                and AAPL as really overvalued right now.
                                   If tom's a fool for owning GOOG, then tons
                                   of people out there are fools for wanting
                                   to buy 1 GOOG option for over $100
                                   (look at $550).
                                   \_ Sure, there are tons of people who
                                      are fools for buying into the brand
                                      that is GOOG.
                                \_ You can go look at the wall logs from
                                   the past 10 years if you really want to
                                   see all my positions; I generally
                                   announce when I buy or sell something.
                                   I have taken profits on much of my original
                                   AAPL holding, but it has split several
                                   times and I still hold shares.  My point
                                   in bringing up AAPL was not to tout my
                                   portfolio, my point was that even when
                                   Apple was having difficult times, I believed
                                   that its strong brand would allow it to
                                   survive.  Apple and Google are two of
                                   the strongest brands in technology today.
                                   I probably wouldn't buy Apple at its
                                   current valuation, but I don't sell good
                                   companies just because the stock went up.
                                   \_ If you wouldn't buy it then why hold it?
                                      \_ Because I have a long time horizon,
                                         and selling a winner is both costly
                                         and generally ill-advised.  -tom
                                         \_ Selling something you think is
                                            overvalued is ill-advised only
                                            on Planet Holub. That $10
                                            commission to trade out of it
                                            gonna screw your returns?
                                            \_ You might want to Google
                                               "capital gains tax."  -tom
                                               \_ You're going to pay
                                                  it when you sell anyway.
                                                  \_ There are lots of
                                                     scenarios where you don't
                                                     wind up paying capital
                                                     gains tax.  And money
                                                     spent now is more
                                                     expensive than money
                                                     spent later.  -tom
                                                     \_ Losing your principle
                                                        on an overvalued stock
                                                        seems like a silly
                                                        way to avoid tax.
                                                        Effective, though.
                                                        Maybe you'll even
                                                        have a cap loss to
                                                        \_ What is your point?
                                                           That I should always
                                                           move all my money
                                                           into the one stock
                                                           that I consider
                                                           the best value at
                                                           a given moment?  I
                                                           think Apple is a
                                                           fine company to own
                                                           and I am relatively
                                                           confident that I
                                                           will meet my
                                                           standard investment
                                                           goal (a double
                                                           within 5 years)
                                                           from its current
                                                           level.  Furthermore,
                                                           trying to time
                                                           the market is not
                                                           my investment
                                                           strategy.  -tom
                                                           \_ It's not about
                                                              timing the
                                                              market. It's
                                                              about holding a
                                                              stock you feel is
                                                              overvalued. Why
                                                              would you do
                                                              that if there are
                                                              better values?
                                                              isn't an excuse
                                                              for fanatical
                                                              AAPL worship.
                                   I strenuously disagree that Google is
                                   overvalued right now.  Its trailing PE
                                   is just 40 (YHOO is 60) and its forward
                                   PE is well below 30, even if you take
                                   conservative earnings assumptions.  What
                                   makes you think GOOG is overvalued?  Recall
                                   that short-GOOG-at-100-guy thought it was
                                   overvalued at 100 because its PE was higher
                                   than YHOO.  Clearly, GOOG's buisness and
                                   \_ Not PE. Market cap. Right now GOOG's
                                      is $170B. YHOO's is $38B. You think
                                      that's justified? No one is saying
                                      GOOG or AAPL are bad companies. They
                                      just aren't good buys.
                                      \_ What do you think GOOG's market cap
                                         should be, and why?  What do you
                                         think should determine a company's
                                         market cap?  -tom
                                         \_ Earnings is the obvious answer, but
                                            it's not so simple. BofA made
                                            5X what GOOG did in earnings
                                            1Q of 2007 and wasn't valued 5X
                                            as much. I don't know what either
                                            YHOO or GOOG *should* be
                                            priced at, but I know they
                                            should be comparable and it
                                            was reasonable to assume so
                                            especially when GOOG went IPO.
                                            Since then GOOG has had more
                                            success than YHOO and so
                                            should probably be worth more,
                                            but 4.5X more? You can make the
                                            argument that YHOO is undervalued
                                            if you wish, but these two
                                            companies should trend close
                                            to each other.
                                            \_ Why should GOOG and YHOO have
                                               comparable market cap?  GOOG
                                               had $5 billion in profits in
                                               2007, up 70% over 2006.  YHOO
                                               had $700 million in profits,
                                               down 35% over 2006.  GOOG
                                               is actually priced at a
                                               discount to YHOO based on
                                               earnings, and GOOG's earnings
                                               are increasing while YHOO's
                                               are falling.  There is no
                                               earthly way those two companies
                                               should be comparable in market
                                               cap.  BofA made lots of money
                                               but their earnings are also
                                               declining and they are at
                                               serious risk due to the
                                               subprime crisis.  If BofA
                                               were growing earnings by 30%
                                               and revenues by 40% year over
                                               year the stock would be
                                               much higher.  -tom
                                               \_ Do you really believe GOOG
                                                  is going to grow earnings
                                                  30% per year? Try looking at
                                                  absolute numbers instead of
                                                  percentages. GOOG's profit
                                                  was nil until recently
                                                  so I guess it increased
                                                  infinity since then.
                                                  GOOG and YHOO need to be
                                                  compared because they
                                                  are in the same space
                                                  just like Exxon needs to
                                                  be compared to BP. When
                                                  GOOG went IPO there was
                                                  no fundamental reason to
                                                  value it over $200. People
                                                  bought based on hype.
                                                  Now that GOOG has
                                                  actually turned a profit
                                                  it deserves more attention
                                                  but how much more do you
                                                  really think it can
                                                  grow? It's already
                                                  valued at 12th largest in
                                                  the USA with no real assets
                                                  and no real barrier to entry.
                                                  No one with any sense
                                                  would value the company
                                                  at these levels. MSFT
                                                  makes 4x as much money
                                                  as GOOG and is valued at
                                                  only 1.67X as much.
                                                  There's a lot of success
                                                  already priced into
                                                  GOOG's share price.
                                                  \_ Google was already
                                                     extremely profitable
                                                     when it went public.
                                                     People bought based
                                                     on the numbers, and
                                                     the numbers have made
                                                     Google one of the most
                                                     successful and profitable
                                                     companies in the world.
                                                     If you really think
                                                     Google should be valued
                                                     similarly to Yahoo
                                                     just because they're
                                                     both Internet companies,
                                                     you're not worth wasting
                                                     any more time on.  -tom
                                                     \_ What about comparing
                                                        GOOG to MSFT in
                                                        terms of market
                                                        share and profit?
                                                        Do you think the
                                                        MSFT:GOOG ratio
                                                        undervalues MSFT
                                                        or overvalues
                                                        GOOG? BTW, it's
                                                        not that YHOO and GOOG
                                                        are both "Internet
                                                        companies". It's that
                                                        they compete in the
                                                        same space. I agree
                                                        GOOG is executing
                                                        better and should be
                                                        valued higher, but
                                                        do you think think GOOG
                                                        is worth 4.5X YHOO?
                                                        \_ Google is earning
                                                           six times more than
                                                           Yahoo; why shouldn't
                                                           it be worth six
                                                           times more?  GOOG
                                                           clearly must be
                                                           compared to MSFT
                                                           but the comparison
                                                           is complex; MSFT
                                                           has a dominant
                                                           position, but in
                                                           technologies which
                                                           are losing value.
                                                           They have a huge
                                                           amount of money but
                                                           will be seriously
                                                           challenged to move
                                                           their business to
                                                           something that's
                                                           relevant in the
                                                           long term.
                                                           Here's a graph that
                                                           has some analogy to
                                                           the GOOG/MSFT
                                                           situation today:
                                                        \_ Update: Yahoo just
                                                           reported $150m in
                                                           earnings; so Google
                                                           is actually earning
                                                           almost 9 times as
                                                           much as Yahoo.
                                                           And GOOG's earnings
                                                           are rising while
                                                           YHOO's are flat.
                                                           \_ Flash back
                                                              to 2005. YHOO
                                                              earned $1.9B.
                                                              GOOG earned
                                                              $1.47B. YHOO had
                                                              a market cap of
                                                              $47B. GOOG had a
                                                              market cap of
                                                              $51B. Did that
                                                              make much sense?
                                                              So that is why
                                                              GOOG shouldn't be
                                                              worth 6 times
                                                              more: It's
                                                              not how the
                                                              market works.
                                                              Otherwise MSFT
                                                              would be worth a
                                                              lot more relative
                                                              to GOOG. GOOG
                                                              makes 99% of
                                                              its revenue
                                                              from advertising.
                                                              Think about that.
                                                              \_ Yes, it did
                                                                 make sense
                                                                 for GOOG to
                                                                 be worth more
                                                                 than YHOO,
                                                                 because GOOG
                                                                 was growing
                                                                 faster in
                                                                 2005.  The
                                                                 market will
                                                                 value; and
                                                                 the market
                                                                 in this case
                                                                 was clearly
                                                                 correct.  I'm
                                                                 done here,
                                                                 you're just
                                                                 trolling. -tom
                                                                 \_ I knew
                                                                    you would
                                                                    The market
                                                                    GOOG to be
                                                                    the biggest
                                                                    company in
                                                                    the nation
                                                                    other than
                                                                    Do you
                                                                    think that's
                                                                    for a
                                                                    for an
                                                                    that derives
                                                                    all revenue
                                                                    from ads?
                                   growth justified that higher PE; I see no
                                   reason to expect serious problems for
                                   their business in the next couple of years.
                                   Without serious problems, GOOG is still
                                   cheap today (though not as cheap as it was
                                   when I suggested it as a buy in this
                                   thread.)   -tom
                                   \_ follow-up: Millward Brown Optimor rates
                                      Google's brand as the most powerful
                                      in the world, estimates its value at
                                      $86 billion:
        \_ GAGEX if it dips below 30, DO, NE, RIG, PE are all good
        \_ Crop futures.
        \_ Diversify. Especially overseas, if you have not done so already
           as the dollar is very likely to fall further. I like EFA, EWG
           and EWD. Some overseas income producing property would be nice,
           if you can pull that off.
        \_ God damnit. I was looking at POT yesterday and now it's up 7+%. -op
2008/4/15-23 [Politics/Domestic/Election] UID:49756 Activity:kinda low
4/15    I guess this is Obama is worse than HRC guy's point?
        \_ That Thomas Sowell is an idiot?  I don't think that's news.  -tom
           \_ ^is an idiot^disagrees with tom
        \_ Is he really accusing Obama of being a Marxist and a Fabian
           Socialist? This guy has a few screws loose, if he is. If he is
           not, what is the point of his last few paragraphs?
           \_ Instead of simply saying why he has a few screws loose, why not
              explain why you think that's the case?
              \_ because it's Thomas Sowell, so it should be self-evident.
                 \_ I think maybe it's you with the problem. Or is it because
                    he's a Senior Fellow at Stanford?
                    \_ No, it's because he's a freakish right-winger who
                       believes all sorts of insane things, and would never
                       say anything good about a liberal (unless it was to
                       insult another liberal).  -tom
                       \_ Tom, everyone right of Stalin is crazy to you. Go
                          \_ Yeah, only communists disagree with the idea
                             that the New Deal caused the Great Depression.
                             Get a clue.  -tom
                             \_ Not the issue.  You call anyone who disagrees
                                with you an idiot or crazy.  And you fail to
                                ever substantiate it.  You're the one with the
                                \_ I call *you* an idiot.  I don't call
                                   everyone who disagrees with me an idiot.
                                   There's a difference, but I'm sure you're
                                   too stupid to figure it out.  -tom
                                   \_ When have you *ever* engaged in debate or
                                      discussion with *anyone* and granted the
                                      other person was right and you were
                                      wrong?  I've never seen it happen on
                                      the motd.
                                      \_ Nice misdirection; I engage
                                         in debate on the MOTD without
                                         calling the other person an idiot
                                         all the time.  Idiot.  -tom
                             \_ Did Sowell say that?  I doubt it.  He may have
                                said that some of FDRs policies lengthed the
                                depression, a stance for which there is fairly
                                good evidence, and the espousal of which hardly
                                makes one 'crazy.'
             \_ I already did explain why. Do you expect me to explain why it
                is obvious that Obama is not a Marxist? This guy is as lame
                as the Bushitler crowd.
                \_ It looks pretty clear to me that Obama /is/ a Marxist, so
                   yes I'd appreciate a serious reply.
                   \_ Then I think it's pretty clear you have no idea
                      what Marxism is.
                      \_ Sigh. So much for a serious answer.
                         \_ If you want to claim the moon is green cheese the
                            only answer you are going to get is "No, it isn't."
                      \_ You're the guy who's never read any of his books,
                         right? -!pp
                    \_ You are silly, but I will entertain your request:
                       Marxism: Believes in the Dictatorship of the Proletariat
                       Obama: Believes in Democracy
                       \_ No difference between democracy and "dictatorship of
                          the proletariat".  Who are the proles anyway?  The
                          bitter people on Pennsylvania?
                          \_ You claim that there is no difference between
                             Democracy and dictatorship. I beg to differ.
                       Marxism: Believes that The Workers should own the means
                                of production.
                       Obama: Believes in a modern regulated Capitalism
                       \_ Regulated to the point that business works for the
                          government.  Thus, socialism.
                          \_ Is this Marxism or isn't it?
                       Marxism: Believes that Workers are naturally alienated in
                                a Capitalistic society.
                       Marxism: Believes that Workers are naturally alienated
                                in a Capitalistic society.
                       Obama: Believes in The Audacity of Hope
                       \_ Wrote a book with that title.  Really believes that
                          the workers are naturally alienated and thus are
                          bitter gun toting christians.
                          \_ Have you read the book? Do you think that the
                             15% of rural citizens constitute the entire
                             body of "Workers?" And even if you take the
                             bitter quote at face value, it is actually
                             a statement complaining about the alienation
                             of a small group of people, not a claim that
                             this is their natural condition.
                       Marxism: Elevates Class Consciousness above all other
                                means of understanding human relationships.
                       Obama: Believes in an integrated political consciousness
                              that includes race, class, religion and family
                              and downplays it as a method to achieve political
                        \_ O believes he and people who share his views are
                           superior, the rest are gun toting racist white hicks
                           in the outback.
                           \_ Everyone believes that their views are superior,
                              even you, I bet. Are you still going to maintain
                              your claim that Obama elevates Class Consciousness
                              above all other philosophy?
                              your claim that Obama elevates Class
                              Consciousness above all other philosophy?
                       Any other questions?
                       \_ Your descriptions of Obama's positions are way off
                          (if not entirely useless--what does 'the audacity of
                          hope' even mean?).  I see him as far closer to Marx
                          than you do.  Fine.
                             You haven't even bothered to learn the first thing
                             about Obama, yet you are quite certain that he
                             is a Marxist. Fine.
                             \_ This is why idiots like Bush get voted in.
                                \_ No.  Idiots like Bush get voted in because
                                   the other guy was so much worse.  Bush was
                                   the unknown lesser evil the first time and
                                   the lesser evil the second.  If the (D) had
                                   real candidates running Bush would be a
                                   footnote, not President.  Twice.  Hint: SF
                                   is not in the political center of the US.
                                   \_ Are you still claiming that Obama *is*
                                      a Marxist, without having the foggiest
                                      clue about what his actual positions are?
                                      Where do you get your information about
                                      what a candidates positions is, a Cracker
                                      Jack box? Do you even know what Marxism
                                   \_ Bush was the lesser evil?  Twice?  Really.
                                      Interesting argument.  So you think
                                      Kerry and Gore both would have made
                                   \_ Bush was the lesser evil?  Twice?
                                      Really. Interesting argument. So you
                                      think Kerry and Gore both would have made
                                      a foreign policy decision more disastrous
                                      than Iraq, and a domestic policy
                                      decision more disastrous than tax cutting
                                      and spending the nation into a debt-ridden
                                      and spending the nation into a debt-
                                      ridden hole.
                                   \_ The Center is moving left, in case you
                                      hadn't noticed. SF looks better everyday.
2008/4/15-23 [Transportation/Car] UID:49757 Activity:nil
4/15    In Bay Area, what percentage of the home (non-condo/townhouse) value should I
        expect to pay for home insurance? And are any of it deductible? Just trying
        to do a rough number calculation for single family home + insurance vs condo
        with HOA.
        \_ Insurance for your residence is not tax-deductible.
        \_ This whole idea of TAX DEDUCTION to stimulate the
           OWNERSHIP SOCIETY is totally stupid. Ditto with tax rebates
           that really come from foreign loans that someone will have
           to pay back.
           \_ No they won't. We're throwing the dollar overboard, and the debt
              will go with it. The dollar is "overloaded".
        \_ Even with a condo you should obtain insurance for your belongings
           and for liability. Insurance will be about .002 of home replacement
           cost (deduct the land) if you have a high deductible (>$1K). As
           above, the insurance is not deductible.
           above, the insurance is not deductible. One thing to note:
           condos usually have earthquake coverage included in the HOA
           dues, while for a SFR this costs (a lot) extra.
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2008:April:15 Tuesday <Monday, Wednesday>