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Broadcom is allegedly in "advanced" talks to be acquired.

Ok, except that it sells at forty-seven times earnings and more than three times sales.

Is this a good company?  Yes, and has been for a long time.

Is there any argument for paying nearly 50x earnings for a chip manufacturer?

That, my friends, is the question.

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Now we're getting somewhere.

Bill and Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation have been hit with a racketeering lawsuit in Florida court.

The lawsuit, filed by Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch, includes a legal request to have the Florida judge seize the private server on which Hillary Clinton and her aides hosted their emails while she served as secretary of state.

Freedom Watch is known to be rather litigious when various politically-connected folks try to flout FOIA laws and otherwise obfuscate what's going on.  Some people don't like them very much but that's understandable when you're the target.


In any event this is definitely an interesting suit as the predicate is what amounts to the appearance of selling access to the State Department..... a point I raised and one I believe deserves serious consideration in both the political and prosecutorial realms.

This lawsuit bears watching -- especially if it results in Hillary being forced to cough up the server.  In that case the options are bad and worse; if anything on it was destroyed then she could very well find herself on the wrong end of an obstruction of justice charge.

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The hypocrisy is amusing.... and disturbing.

A 47-count indictment was unsealed early this morning in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, charging 14 defendants with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies, among other offenses, in connection with the defendants’ participation in a 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through the corruption of international soccer.  The guilty pleas of four individual defendants and two corporate defendants were also unsealed today.

The defendants charged in the indictment include high-ranking officials of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the organization responsible for the regulation and promotion of soccer worldwide, as well as leading officials of other soccer governing bodies that operate under the FIFA umbrella.  Jeffrey Webb and Jack Warner – the current and former presidents of CONCACAF, the continental confederation under FIFA headquartered in the United States – are among the soccer officials charged with racketeering and bribery offenses.  The defendants also include U.S. and South American sports marketing executives who are alleged to have systematically paid and agreed to pay well over $150 million in bribes and kickbacks to obtain lucrative media and marketing rights to international soccer tournaments.

Ok, $150 million.

Let me point out that within the medical system in the United States, which encompasses more than $1 trillion spent by government annually, and more than $3 trillion total annually, assuming that prices are inflated by some 80% due to anti-competitive and collusive practices that the $150 million involved here over several years is accounted for in less than a day.

Yet.... zero indictments.

Let me further point out that with the tens of billions alleged in FX and LIBOR rigging that also means the $150 million alleged here amounts to.... about one day worth of what happened in those arenas.  And while the latter has generated fines not one indictment looking for criminal convictions involving prison time has occurred.

So a game is worth going to prison over when you break the law, but hosing the American public in one case out of roughly one dollar in five spent in the entire economy on one hand, and tens of billions of dollars on the other, doesn't merit one single person going to prison.

This, America, is what you allow to go on in this country and it's joke of a so-called "justice" system.

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I have made further changes to https support at The Market Ticker.

First, after a fairly close analysis of the user agents (that is, browsers and similar) accessing the Ticker I have decided to enable https for all accesses should you choose to use it and not just for signed-in users.  The impact of this change is that there are a handful of old browsers and other devices that cannot use https except through specifying the port number, and for those the automatic forwarding between areas on the system will fail.  At some point you just have to say "tough crap" for outdated software, and this is the day.

Part of the reason I have made this decision is that the process for preventing "Logjam" attacks include generating a long seed prime set for DH (a form of TLS/SSL key) exchange on a private basis (rather than the common as-shipped shared key set), which prevents that attack from working since it relies on being able to gather data from a wide variety (and thus very large number) of sites.  Unfortunately doing that breaks compatibility with some of those older browsers since the larger DH key space is not supported by them at all.

Given the choice between security and that (very old; 5+ years) obsolete software I choose security.

Second, if you use https when accessing either or tickerforum on your first (successful) use from a given browser and computer your connection will be secure-pinned on that device and browser for a period of time (currently two weeks.)  That is, any further access you attempt to make on that device, assuming the device's browser supports it, will automatically be upgraded to https even if you type http (or nothing at all) in the browser itself or have an insecure bookmark saved.

Incidentally this gets flagged as "too short" by some tools which want that interval to be at least six months.  The reason for setting it to two weeks is that if you're an actual reader here on any sort of regular basis you are here at least once every week or so, and as such two weeks is at least double the usual interval -- and probably far more than that.

Comments (of course) welcome!

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So now the IRS itself gets compromised....

Identity thieves used the Internal Revenue Service’s online service to obtain tax return information for about 100,000 U.S households, the tax agency said Tuesday.

The IRS said criminals used stolen Social Security numbers and other data to gain unauthorized access to the accounts. Of the 200,000 attempts, 100,000 were successful.

The IRS said thieves used the information from prior years’ returns to help them file for fake refunds. They did it by accessing a system called “Get Transcript,” where they had to clear a security screen that required knowledge about the taxpayer, including Social Security number, date of birth, tax filing status and street address.

This is particularly infuriating because we, as Americans, have enabled all of this and it is to a large degree our fault.

The so-called "hacking" in this case wasn't really "hacking" per-se.  The thieves used Social Security numbers; where did they get them?  They got them because we have allowed those numbers, which were originally explicitly barred from being used for identification purposes, as identification!

The first answer is the obvious one: Stop doing that crap.

But that's inconvenient for all the big companies, you see.  They want a unique, global identifier for everyone that they can use to correlate all your information, despite the fact that they have no actual right to any of it.  Rather, they get you to disclose and let them have it, whether it's health insurance companies, car insurance or any one of a number of other entities including your bank.

There is no "fix" for this other than to stop being stupid, in the main.  This is very unlike someone who manages to get a virus into your system or steal a private key used for public-key cryptography, which incidentally does also happen quite a bit.  No, this is mere theft and it's probably happening on some sort of automated, programmatic basis too -- which the IRS failed to defend against in an adequate form.

The IRS claims that its main systems remain "secure" but that of course wasn't the goal of the crooks.  Rather once they have this data and know it works they can file fraudulent returns in subsequent years and they will likely succeed in siphoning off any refund you might be owed before you can claim it.

Then what?

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