While AAPL’s recent quarter was quite impressive, they did not meet the expectations of the wall street analysts when they reported quarterly earnings. After hours trading had the shares trading down by over 6.5%.


I am a believer in Apple’s products (and I also own a few shares), but le Stock Market doesn’t like it when a string of “beat every estimate” quarters is suddenly interrupted by something they quantify as a “miss”.

It’s also worth noting that AAPL is not just the hot name du jour. It is the 2nd highest weighted component of the S&P 500 Index at 2.4% of the index’s market-cap based weighting.


If traders needed any reason to sell off from the top of the current trading range, this certainly qualifies…


The largest risk to AAPL in my opinion is the greater economy and broad stock market risk preference. If we are entering another recession, then fewer people will have the appetite for an upgraded iPhone, or high monthly phone bills for a smart phone data plan.

On the flip side, AAPL is hardly in trouble. They have over $80 billion in cash now, and are expecting to sell more iPhones and iPads next quarter than I thought were possible. Despite the large daily percentage, it’s worth noting that this is probably an overblown after-hours reaction, and a 7% decline only wipes out the price gains from the last 6 or 7 trading days.

I recently came across this good quote…

“Those who would point to low servicing costs should remember that market interest rates can change like the weather. Debt levels, by contrast, can’t be brought down quickly. Even though politicians everywhere like to argue that their country will expand its way out of debt, our historical research suggests that growth alone is rarely enough to achieve that with the debt levels we are experiencing today.”

— From “Debt Endangers Growth” by Reinhart and Rogoff


“Perhaps the most abhorrent bit of chicanery has been the threat that if a deal is not reached to increase the debt by August 2nd, social security checks may not go out. In reality, the Chief Actuary of Social Security confirmed last week that current Social Security tax receipts are more than enough to cover current outlays. The only reason those checks would not go out would be if the administration decided to spend those designated funds elsewhere. It is very telling that the administration would […] frighten seniors dependent on social security checks…”

–Ron Paul

A couple of weeks ago, John Hussman wrote an article called “The Menu” that has some very interesting analysis.

In the article, he highlights this chart as The Menu of anticipated returns based on his models for different asset classes.


Quoting Hussman,

Note that all of the figures in the chart below are prospective returns based on data that was available at the time (though it should be clear from the chart above that actual subsequent market returns have closely tracked the projections from our standard methodology, which is described in detail in numerous previous market comments). Again, for securities with maturities up to 10-years, prevailing yields-to-maturity are sufficient. For the S&P 500 and 30-year Treasury, the chart uses prospective returns based on existing valuations. So the figures for the S&P 500 below, for example, map to the expected returns from the model presented above.

Note that the blue line near the bottom of the expected returns is the current market environment.

With the silver price correcting 30% in 5 days recently, here is a little food for thought from Casey Research…


Silver has dropped more than 30% only three times previously in the current bull market (since 2001).

I don’t think the bull market is over, but I also don’t think the correction is over. The previous times that silver dropped more than 30%, it took much longer than 5 days for the correction low to be in place.

The different rates of unemployment based on education level still grabs at my attention…


From the NY Times.

I saw this graphic and thought it was a nice depiction. It shows the relative size of the economies of the G20 nations…


This week’s must read missive is about the chain of title on mortgages, and how big the fraudclosure problems are for the big banks embroiled in the mess. The situation isn’t pretty, and the implications could be dramatic.

David Kotok put together an easily readable explanation of the problem. The short version — when a bank doesn’t maintain the chain of title on a mortgage, that legal document is no longer valid. The consequence is that the borrower is no longer required to make payments on the mortgage.

Barry Ritholtz (who is a lawyer) introduced the above linked article with some caution. A single legal point (the mortgage not is no longer valid) will not necessarily result in a windfall for the home buyer.

The Kotok message also made its way into John Mauldin’s weekly email, where he adds his take on it too.

I saw an updated version of the chart that Quicksilver posted a while back… here is the current version of the chart:


From Zero Hedge.

Here’s a well done graphic that reminds us where the government gets its revenue from, and where it all goes…


(click for bigger version)

More from WaPo.

Someone recently shared this quote from Murray Rothbard’s Ethics of Liberty (ch. 24):

Many libertarians assert that the government is morally bound to pay its debts, and that therefore default or repudiation must be avoided. The problem here is that these libertarians are analogizing from the perfectly proper thesis that private persons or institutions should keep their contracts and pay their debts. But government has no money of its own, and payment of its debt means that the taxpayers are further coerced into paying bondholders. Such coercion can never be licit from the libertarian point of view. For not only does increased taxation mean increased coercion and aggression against private property, but the seemingly innocent bondholder appears in a very different light when we consider that the purchase of a government bond is simply making an investment in the future loot from the robbery of taxation. As an eager investor in future robbery, then, the bondholder appears in a very different moral light from what is usually assumed.

While I don’t completely agree with this quote, it is certainly thought provoking. I think revenue bonds suffer less from this ethical dilemma than general obligation bonds…

Your thoughts?

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