Monday, February 27, 2017

Observations and Sample of Recent Trades (ONB, RFTA, SCM, FITB, TANNZ, HTGZ): 2/27/17/GOP's Mass Deportation Plan & Economic Disruption/GOP's Problems With the First Amendment

Trump The Demagogue and the Fake News Creator-In-Chief:  

Trump the Demagogue was in full throttle last Friday when giving a rambling speech at the "Conservative" Political Action Conference. Trump's reality creations were omnipresent as usual.


He spent most of his time demonizing the free press and reliving the election over and over again.



"A few days ago I called the fake news the enemy of the people. And they are. They are the enemy of the people.
(APPLAUSE)"

Donald Trump CPAC Speech: Read a Complete Transcript | Time.com


No true conservative would applaud that Trump statement. True conservatives would find it autocratic and disgusting.

My favorite Trump reality creation/fake news made in that speech is the following:


"Because they have no sources, they just make 'em up when there are none. I saw one story recently where they said, "Nine people have confirmed." There're no nine people. I don't believe there was one or two people. Nine people.
And I said, "Give me a break." Because I know the people, I know who they talk to. There were no nine people.
But they say "nine people." And somebody reads it and they think, "Oh, nine people. They have nine sources." They make up sources.
They're very dishonest people." (emphasis added)

Trump is referring to a Washington Post story that nine sources had informed the paper that the former National Security Advisor Flynn had lied to Pence and others about his discussions with the Russian Ambassador after the election and prior to Trump's inauguration. National security adviser Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador, despite denials, officials say - The Washington Post ("Nine current and former officials, who were in senior positions at multiple agencies at the time of the calls, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters." emphasis added)

{On the same day, Trump denied access to reporters from the NYT, Los Angeles Times, BBC, Politico, and BuzzFeed from a White House press briefing. This was an unprecedented act. White House blocks CNN, other news organizations from press briefing - Feb. 24, 2017} 

That Washington Post article about Flynn turned out to be true. Flynn was subsequently fired by Trump, because he had not told the truth to the VP and others that he had in fact discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador as reported by the WP. 

When Trump claimed that the WP reporters made up those sources and were consequently "very dishonest people", he knew of course that the WP's article was indeed accurate, but that did not stop him from making the claims quoted above.

The foregoing is also relevant to demonstrate how Trump can maintain two conflicting narratives simultaneously. 


In this case, he asserts that the leaks were real and the FBI needs to take aggressive action to stop them, while also maintaining there were no leaks and the reporters just invented them. While this may be consistent with a pathological lying disorder, it is also consistent with delusional thinking. Neither is a positive for the nation.  


Donald Trump’s streak of falsehoods-The Washington Post

Trump's extreme level of dishonesty or delusions extends to making statements that are easily proven to be false and can even be clearly inconsistent with his prior statements on the same subject.  

He does not have to worry about Trump nation calling into question the veracity of his statements. They have already tuned out all reliable information.

85% of Republicans approve of Trump's job performance. Trump's Job Approval Stands at Just 44 Percent as Partisan Splits Reign-NBC News ("Republicans are also fully on board with Trump's frequent accusations that the media is manufacturing "fake news" to undermine his presidency.")

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The GOP's Mass Deportation Plan-Maybe The GOP Will Regret the Economic Disruption to Their Small Business Supporters:


The Department of Homeland Security tried to calm illegal immigrants after issuing its mass deportation order claiming that it was not a mass deportation order. Trump administration issues new immigration enforcement policies, says goal is not ‘mass deportations’ - The Washington Post


When Trump called the deportation a "military operation", the former Marine General John Kelly, Trump's new Homeland Security Secretary, criticized the press for reporting what the President actually said and claimed there would be no "mass deportations" would not happen. "There will be no — repeat, no — mass deportations."


Homeland Security chief: No use of military for deportations - ABC News

We will see whether Mr. Kelly has any credibility. 


The new rules can be found here: Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest.pdf


Mass deportations will not begin this month since the Trump Administration will need to hire another 10,000 employees before it can embark in earnest on its mass deportation plan. The federal government will also aggressively rely on local law enforcement officers becoming immigration officers under the 287(g) program.


All illegal aliens are deportable under the new Order. There will be mass deportations, but not immediately.


"Under this Executive Order, ICE will not exempt classes or categories of removal aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States." Q&A: DHS Implementation of the Executive Order on Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States | Homeland Security (that statement is repeated several times in that document)


Spicer told reporters that if “you’re in this country in an illegal manner, obviously there’s a provision that could ensure that you be removed.” The broad statements made in the DHS Implementation Statement, cited above, and Spicer's comments, are sufficient to cover the dreamers. Advocates warn ‘dreamers’ to lie low as Trump ramps up deportation plans - The Washington Post 

USA Today: Homeland Security unveils sweeping plan to deport undocumented immigrants

Trump admin sets stage for mass deportations - CNN
New Trump Deportation Rules Allow Far More Expulsions - The New York Times


The GOP's plan is a major departure from Obama's deportation efforts, where the focus was on deporting new entrants into the U.S. caught near the border and those convicted of serious crimes. 

I will leave it to others to debate whether the GOP's mass deportation is human and compassionate. Over the next four years, Mr. Kelly, Trump and other GOP officials will make a lot of verbal claims that are  inconsistent with their actions.   

 There will be plenty of evidence relevant to those issues occurring over the next four years.  


I would just highlight here that many small and medium size businesses rely on illegal immigrant labor. Native born U.S. citizens are unwilling to work in many of those jobs.


Let me know when a caucasian Trump supporter replaces an illegal immigrant picking vegetables and fruit in the hot Florida sun or are willing to work in a plant killing chickens or hogs or install sheetrock in a new home. 
After Trump’s immigration order, anxiety grows in Florida’s farm fields - The Washington Post


After seeing so many of them on TV, I doubt that many would last an hour working in the hot Florida sun picking perishable fruits. These jobs are low wage for hard work.

And, it will do the rich republicans in my area some good when they have to start doing their own yard work. Maybe their grass will stop growing.


At a minimum, labor substitutes for the mass deportations will be hard to find and will in many cases be more expensive and less productive for those small businesses.


The nation is now at full employment. Those who remain unemployed are mostly unemployable for a variety of reasons. Those who are employable are not going to work in those kind of jobs.


So, far small business owners who voted for Trump and have illegal immigrants working for them, or have illegals as their customers on a regular basis, then there will most likely be a form of justice meted out during Trump's first term. What goes around, comes around.


+++++++++++++++


Comey and/or Andrew McCabe: Why Remain Silent About Their Alleged Conversations with Priebus:  


By way of background, the NYT published a front page story on 2/14 claiming there was constant contacts during the election between senior Russian intelligence officers and Trump campaign members and other associates. Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence - The New York Times


The article was based on four anonymous sources. 


Those sources allegedly claimed that there was no evidence yet that those contacts involved the election. 


Needless to say, this story created a firestorm since it fed into existing suspicions about Trump's connections with Russia. 

The White House Chief of Staff Priebus thereafter appeared on Face the Nation and made the following statements about that article: 



"I think that the problem we have got is that we are talking about bogus stories like the one in “The New York Times” that we have had constant contact with Russian officials. The next day, “The Wall Street Journal” had a story that the intel community was not giving the president a full intelligence briefing, both stories grossly inaccurate, overstated, overblown.

And it is total garbage. So we spend, you know, 48 hours on bogus stories, and the American people suffer." 
Face the Nation transcript February 19, 2017: Priebus 

He then made the following statement to Fox:


"I can assure you, the top levels of the intelligence community have assured me that (the allegation) is not only grossly overstated but also wrong. They have made it very clear that the story is complete garbage".  


Priebus says US intel officials call campaign-Russia story 'garbage,' tries to end controversy | Fox News


Top levels in the intelligence community would include the FBI Director James Comey and the Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. It might also include the GOP Chairman's of the Senate and House intelligence committees who have access to information about the FBI's investigation. 


Trump administration sought to enlist intelligence officials, key lawmakers to counter Russia stories - The Washington Post


The current White House version of the alleged conversations involving Priebus, Comey and McCabe originates from the Alternate Fact Guy Sean Spicer: Spicer defends Priebus' contacts with FBI-CBS News 


There is an audio recording of Spicer embedded in that article. At approximately 3:27, Spicer starts to talk about those alleged conversations.  


Spicer claims that McCabe took Reince Priebus aside at a meeting and volunteered that the NYT story about constant contacts between Russian intelligence and the Trump campaign was inaccurate. 


Priebus wanted the FBI to go public, but McCabe declined to do so saying the FBI did not want to start admitting or denying claims made in every news story. 


The FBI's Director, James Comey, who publicly intervened in the election to help Trump, later told Priebus that he could state publicly that senior and anonymous FBI sources told him that the NYT story was inaccurate.   


The preceding version depends solely on the credibility of Reince Priebus.  


Comey and McCabe have refused to publicly admit or deny the truth and existence of these now publicly disclosed conversations, claiming that there is an ongoing investigation that they do not want to jeopardize.  

Since the alleged statements made by Comey and/or McCabe have now been made public by the White House, there is, of course, no reason for them to remain silent about those conversations. They need to either acknowledge that the White House was told the story was inaccurate or assert that no such conversation took place. 


It is difficult to understand the distinction between privately providing information for public dissemination, which is Spicer's version of how the FBI lent their support to Trump, and providing the same information directly by Comey and his sidekick. 

I suspect that the Comey did tell Priebus that the story was inaccurate or contained inaccurate details, but I suspect that Priebus then exaggerated what Comey  told him. 


Lastly, I would reiterate what the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister told the state-runned Interfax news agency in an interview two days after the election.  


He stated that "there were contacts" between Trump's team and Russia during the election. Moscow had contacts with Trump team during campaign, Russian diplomat says - The Washington Post 


He added the following according to multiple translations of the transcript: 


"I cannot say that all of them, but quite a few have been staying in touch with Russian representatives." (emphasis added) From Russia with love. Was Trump campaign in touch with foreign government? | PolitiFact


And, the former Trump campaign manager, Paul Manafort, had close ties the former Ukraine P.M. who was supported by Russia. 


FBI Making Inquiry Into Ex-Trump Campaign Manager's Foreign Ties - NBC News


One interesting twist on Manafort's Russian connections is whether prosecutors can successfully extradite, and possibly turn, a close Manafort associate. Austrian court approves extradition of Ukrainian oligarch tied to Trump campaign adviser - The Washington Post 


I don't think that Jeff Sessions could squash any efforts made by federal prosecutors along those lines without exposing himself to obstruction of justice charges. 


I would not trust Comey to be a non-partisan FBI Director. I suspect that he would do whatever he could to help Trump. 

Enemies: A History of the FBI: Tim Weiner 


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The GOP and The First Amendment:


I am a First Amendment hawk and will consequently criticize the GOP's long-standing efforts to undermine the First Amendment and other foundations of a properly functioning democracy.  The facts are omnipresent for anyone willing to look. 


I discussed Trump's latest effort to undermine the free press at the beginning of this post.  I also recently discussed examples in these posts: 


The GOP and First Amendment Conservative ValuesTrump as the Victim of a Fake News Conspiracy


The attacks on fundamental constitutional rights by the "so-called" party of individual freedom are becoming less nuanced and more obvious by the day.

The GOP has had problems with First Amendment conservative values for decades. 


Efforts to undermine the free press started in earnest with Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew. The former was impeached, had to resign as President, and was later pardoned by his successor Gerald Ford (R).  


The GOP Vice President, Spiro Agnew, had to resign and was later charged with accepting bribes. George Beall, Prosecutor Who Brought Down Agnew, Dies at 79 - The New York Times 


The Washington Post was largely responsible for exposing Nixon's criminal conduct. As Nixon told Henry Kissinger in a recorded telephone conversation, the press was the enemy:  “The press is the enemy. The press is the enemy”. Kissinger agreed with him. 


The purpose, which has already succeeded IMO, is to cause tens of millions of voters to disregard whatever is reported by the free press and instead rely solely on Trump's tweets, Brietbart, Sean Hannity and the faux blondes at Fox News, and other alternate fact "news organizations" that are frequently supported by the uber rich and reactionary GOP financiers. Pro-Trump megadonor is part owner of Breitbart News empire, CEO reveals - The Washington Post


A recent example of efforts to undermine voting by those who will not vote for GOP politicians is an "emergency" email sent  by the Chairman of the Montana Republican Party urging tribe members to undermine a GOP legislative proposal that would permit voting by mail when a special election had to be held to replace Montana's sole GOP congressman Ryan Zinke who was offered a job by Trump. to become Secretary of the Interior.

Montana is a large and sparsely populated state. The country election officials had lobbied GOP state legislators to pass a low allowing for the special election to be conducted by mail, which they have a lot of experience doing in that state, since their budgets had been exhausted in the presidential election. Those election officials convinced republicans in Montana's state legislature to introduce that legislation which is what prompted the GOP's Chairman Jeff Essmann to have a hissy fit.

In his email, Eassmann made the following statement:

All mail ballots give the Democrats an inherent advantage in close elections due to their ability to organize large numbers of unpaid college students and members of public employee unions to gather ballots by going door to door. . .. vote-by-mail is designed to increase participation rates of lower propensity voters. Democrats in Montana perform better than Republican candidates among lower propensity voters and Republican candidates do better among higher propensity voters.”

The GOP Secretary of State in Montana, Corey Stapleton, supported this line of thinking when making this comment: 


“If you look at the three states that have done it, you can see that populism and direct democracy at its best, all three states – Oregon, Washington and Colorado – they do all-mail-in ballots and they’re all marijuana-all-the-time states too. Is that what you want? Because that’s what you’re going to get.”


Republicans divided over letting counties use all-mail ballots in special election | Montana Legislature | bozemandailychronicle.com


The GOP does not want those Democrat leaning voters to cast their ballots and will make it as difficult as possible for them to do so.


++++++++++++

Worth a Read


Thomas Friedman-Meet the 5 Trump Administrations - The New York Times


USA TODAY: DHS memo contradicts threats cited by Trump's travel ban


DHS report: Citizens of travel ban countries "rarely implicated" in U.S.-based terrorism - CBS News

Former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort Took Out $19 Million in Puzzling Real Estate Loans


Ohio Gov. Kasich says House conservatives may cause "problem" passing Obamacare replacement - CBS News (I mention this issue in a comment to my last blog)

Trump Tweet 2/25/17:

"The media has not reported that the National Debt in my first month went down by $12 billion vs a $200 billion increase in Obama first mo." Why Trump’s tweet about the deficit is so silly - MarketWatch Ridiculous is the word that I would use.

Only the incredibility stupid and ignorant would swallow that one.

Mexico Warns U.S. It'll Cut Off Nafta Talks If Tariffs Proposed - Bloomberg

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The trades being discussed are following a theme:

(1) reducing my stock allocation by targeting stock CEFs and stock mutual funds and stocks viewed as overvalued based upon what I consider reasonable valuation ranges based on realistic earnings estimates; and

(2) reducing my allocation to riskier bonds and potentially long duration preferred stocks and exchange traded bonds; and

(3) plowing proceeds into high quality short term bonds and FDIC insured CDs and gradually expanding into intermediate high quality bonds.

+++++++++++


1. Short Term Bond/CD Ladder Basket Strategy

A. Bought 2 Merrick Bank .7% CDs (monthly interest) Maturing on 8/28/17:

                            

B. Bought 1 S & T Bank 1% CD Maturing on 2/22/18:

                             


C.  Added 1 UST .625% Maturing 11/30/17:

                                                   

This brings me up to 3 in my Schwab account and 4 altogether.

D. Added 2 BB&T 1.45% Senior Unsecured Maturing on 1/12/18:


                               


FINRA Page: Bond Detail 

Moody's RatingA2 (08/18/2015)
Standard & Poor's RatingA- (11/14/2012)
Fitch RatingA+ (10/04/2016)

YTM at Total Cost (100.164) = 1.243%

This bond may be redeemed on or after 12/12/17

I also own 171+ BBT common shares. Some of those shares were received when BBT acquired National Penn. 


Item # 3. Bought 50 BBT at $35.23-Satellite Taxable Account: Update For Regional Bank Basket As Of 9/23/15 - South Gent | Seeking Alpha

E. Eliminated RFTA: Sold 100 RFTA at  $25.10:


Security: Exchange Traded Baby Bond

Quote: RAIT Financial Trust 7.125% Senior Notes Maturing in 2019 (RFTA)
Maturity Date:
Optional Call On or After: 8/30/17
Par Value= $25
Issuer: 
Prospectus Supplement



                                       


Profit: $26.52


                                       

Those two fifty share lot purchases were discussed in these posts:


Item # 1 Bought 50 RFTA at $24.25 Update For Bond And Equity Preferred Stock Basket Strategy As Of 7/31/15 - South Gent | Seeking Alpha


Item # 3 Bought 50 RFTA at $25


I realized a $2.98 loss on the lot bought at $25 due to the broker's commission. I used a commission free trade to sell both 50 share lot.  


F. Current Maturity Cluster 11/1/17 to 1/31/17:

Principal Value $1K per Bond or CD
SU = Senior Unsecured:

4  4 Week Treasury Bills Maturing Per Month

2 Verizon 1.1% SU 11/1/17
1 Compass Bank .8% CD 11/8/17
1 Statoil 1.25% SU  11/9/17
2 TransCanada 1.25% SU 11/9/17
2 Microsoft .875% SU 11/15/17
1 Southern California Edison 1.25% SU 11/17/19
2 Great Southern .75% CDs 11/22/17
3 U.S.T. .625% 11/30/17
2 Potash 3.25% 12/1/17
2 AT & T 1.4% (YTM at 1.491%) Senior Unsecured Maturing Due 12/1/17
2 Disney 1.1% (1.043% YTM) Senior Unsecured Maturing 12/1/17
2 Ecolab 1.45% (1.389% YTM) Senior Unsecured Maturing 12/8/17
2 Chevron 1.104% (YTM 1.224%) Senior Unsecured Maturing 12/8/17
2 LegacyBank of Texas .8% CDs (monthly interest) 12/9/17
2 ConocoPhillips 1.05% (1.203% YTM) Senior Unsecured Maturing 12/15/17
1 Costco 1.125% SU 12/15/17
2 Sherwin Williams  1.35% (YTM 1.294%) Senior Unsecured Maturing 12/15/17
1 U.S. Treasury .75% (YTM .95%) Maturing 12/31/17  
1 U.S. Treasury Bill .888% (1 YR. Bought at Auction) Due 1/4/18 (scheduled 1 Yr reinvestment) 
2 Everbank CDs 1.05% Due 1/11/18
4 BBT 1.45% Senior Unsecured Bonds Due 1/12/18 
2 C.R. Bard 1.375% (YTM at 1.363%) Senior Unsecured Bonds Due 1/15/18 
2 Dominion Resources 1.2% (YTM at 1.507%) Senior Unsecured Due 1/15/2018
1 U.S.T .875% 1/15/18
2 CR Bard 1.375% SU 1/15/18
2 Brown Forman 1% (YTM at 1.303%) Senior Unsecured Due 1/15/18
1 Deere 1.35% (YTM at 1.35%) Senior Unsecured Due 1/16/18
1 WFC 1.5% (YTM at 1.499%) Senior Unsecured Due 1/16/18
2 Royal Bank of Canada 1.5% (YTM at 1.457%) Senior Unsecured Due 1/16/18 
3 Anheuser Busch 1.25% (YTM at 1.342%) Senior Unsecured Due 1/17/18
1 Statoil 1.2% (YTM at 1.325%) Senior Unsecured Due 1/17/18
1 Bank of China 1% CD 1/30/18
2 Merck 1.1% (YTM 1.192%) Senior Unsecured Due 1/31/18
1 U.S. Treasury .75% (YTM .946%) Maturing on 1/31/18
1 UST Scheduled for Reinvestment January 2018.

Total Principal Amount: $64K


G. HTGZ Redeemed by the Issuer at Par Value Plus Accrued Interest: Roth IRA Account




2. Continued to Pare Stock Allocation:


A. Eliminated ONB-Sold Remaining 50 Shares at $18.55:


This lot was bought on 1/12/16 and discussed here:  


Item # 2. Averaged Down: Bought 50 ONB at $12.25-Update For Regional Bank Basket As Of 1/19/16 - South Gent | Seeking Alpha


Profit Snapshot: +$312.97



                                         

Quote: Old National Bancorp (ONB)


ONB Profits To Date: $757.11


Snapshots at Stocks, Bonds & Politics: REGIONAL BANK BASKET STRATEGY GATEWAY POST


ONB Analyst Estimates

The current consensus 2017 E.P.S. estimate is $1.06, giving the stock a forward P/E of 17.5.



B. Eliminated SCM: Sold 100 SCM at $14.23:


Profit +285.96




                                      

Quote: Stellus Capital Investment Corp.   (SCM)


SCM is an externally managed micro cap BDC that makes monthly dividend payments. I do not like BDCs and view externally managed ones with disfavor. I will only buy small lots and will attempt to exit the position at a total return in excess of the dividend yield. I was successful accomplishing that objective with 200 shares of SCM. 


I discussed selling the other 100 shares for a $146.96 profit here. That lot was bought on 12/6/16 and sold on 1/11/17. I only received one monthly dividend on that lot.


SCM is currently paying a monthly dividend of $.113 per share.


C. Pared FITB: Sold 50+ at $27.37:


Corporate Profile | Fifth Third Bank




Quote: Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB)


Profit: +$481.05



                                     


I still own 50 share at a $15.71 average cost per share. Item # 1. Averaged Down: Bought 50 FITB at $15.55-Update For Regional Bank Basket Strategy As Of 2/8/16 - South Gent | Seeking Alpha  


Based on a $27.32 Market Price as of 2/24/17


I am looking for stocks to eliminate or pare as part of my stock allocation reduction.  I am surprised that this stock has gone up so much over the past year. 


Snapshot of Regional Bank Basket Trades: Stocks, Bonds & Politics: REGIONAL BANK BASKET STRATEGY GATEWAY POST


Net Profit = $34,191.24 (all small lots) 

FITB Realized Profits to Date: $517.62 

FITB is currently rated 3 stars by Morningstar with a fair value estimate of $25 and a consider to buy price at $17.5.


Fifth Third Announces Fourth Quarter Earnings Per Diluted Share of $0.49


Last December, Fifth Third Bancorp increased its quarterly dividend by 8% to $.14 per share.  I do not view that as a dividend raise. This bank will need to raise the quarterly penny rate over $.44 per share, the rate in effect for 2008 first quarter before


I would label this last increase a dividend raise. FITB was mismanaged leading up to the Near Depression and their shareholders paid a price for management incompetence. My purchases were of recent origin. I prefer to avoid being massacred by highly compensated managers.


A long term chart shows the carnage inflicted on FITB's shareholders in addition to the dividend slashes from $.44 per share down to $.01 by the 2009 first quarter. FITB Stock Chart (from $40+ per share in 2007 to near zero by 2009)


I will probably unload soon the other 50 shares. I am pacing my stock allocation reduction by selling generally $3K to $10K per day.


I would note that the yield spread is not increasing this year so far, but has started to contract again. Daily Treasury Yield Curve Rates


3.  Intermediate Term Bond Ladder  Basket Strategy


A. Bought 1 Southern California Edison 2.4% First Mortgage Bond Maturing on 2/1/22:



                                                          

FINRA Page: Bond Detail (prospectus linked at FINRA Page)


MOODY'S Aa3

S & P A
Fitch A+

YTM at Total Cost ( 100.009): 2.398%

B. Bought 2 Citizens Financial 2.375% Senior Unsecured Bonds Maturing on 7/28/21:

Issuer: Citizens Financial Group Inc. (CFG) 



                                   


FINRA Page: Bond Detail

S & P BBB+

Fitch BBB+

YTM at Total Cost (98.92) = 2.635%

FITCH Report 

CFG SEC Filings 


2016 4th Quarter Earnings Report 


4. Long Term Bond Basket Strategy-Minimal Position:


A. Sold 50 TANNZ:  


Profit Snapshot:+$15.08



                                  


TravelCenters of America LLC 8% Senior Notes Due 10/15/30 (TANNZ) 


I discussed buying this bond here when it had a different symbol: 


Item # 1. Bought 50 TANP at $25.19-Update For Exchange Traded Bonds And Preferred Stock Basket Strategy As Of 12/1/15 - South Gent | Seeking Alpha


Prospectus



Unless redeemed early by the issuer, this security will mature on 10/15/2030. The issuer may redeem at par plus accrued interest on or after 10/15/18. 


I am satisfied with a small profit and will consider buying back when the price sinks substantially. 

This bond was sold to the public in October 2015. Coming out of the gate, the price cascaded down to about $21.5.  TANNZ Stock Chart The bond is not rated but would IMO be well into junk territory if it was rated by Moody's or S & P. I am not into bonds with significant credit and interest rate risk presently. 

Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor but simply an individual investor who has been managing my own money since I was a teenager. In this post, I am acting solely as a financial journalist focusing on my own investments. The information contained in this post is not intended to be a complete description or summary of all available data relevant to making an investment decision. Instead, I am merely expressing some of the reasons underlying the purchase or sell of securities. Nothing in this post is intended to constitute investment or legal advice or a recommendation to buy or to sell. All investors need to perform their own due diligence before making any financial decision which requires at a minimum reading original source material available at the SEC and elsewhere. A failure to perform due diligence only increases what I call "error creep". Stocks, Bonds & Politics: ERROR CREEP and the INVESTING PROCESS Each investor needs to assess a potential investment taking into account their personal risk tolerances, goals and situational risks. I can only make that kind of assessment for myself and family members.


18 comments:

  1. Posting so I get notices.

    Do you happen to know if the national security agency (don't know which one) said WSJ article was wrong claiming Trump wasn't being given full info?

    If so was there a loophole in what head said, so that he wasn't aware but story may still be true?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. T: I thought the WSJ article was suspect since I doubted that an intelligence agency would withhold information from the President fearing leaks.

      The alleged withholding claimed by the WSJ related to sources and methods use to collect intelligence.

      That could mean that the actual intelligence was disclosed but not how the intelligence was collected in some instances.

      The recently installed Director of the CIA Mike Pompeo, formerly a GOP congressman from Congress, said in a statement that “the CIA does not, has not, and will never hide intelligence from the president.”

      Off hand, I do not recall denials from other intelligence agencies.

      CBS ran a slightly different version of the story, saying that intelligence agencies felt a chill about disclosing sensitive information.

      "But sources told CBS News there is a “chill” in the flow of intelligence to the White House, both because of comments from the president about the intelligence community and anxiety over the handling of sensitive information about Russian interference in the 2016 election."

      http://www.cbsnews.com/news/chill-intelligence-trump-white-house-sources/


      Trump has made a number of severely critical comments about the intelligence agencies. He accused the intelligence agencies of conducting a "Nazi" smear campaign against him:

      http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-idUSKBN14V18L


      It is my understanding that intelligence reports are circulated through the National Security Council most of the time. The NSC then prepares reports for the President after collecting intel from all of the intelligence agencies. There are from to time personal briefings directly to the President.

      Delete
  2. South Gent,

    I took a small position in GLD two weeks ago. I am also thinking about GDX, just as a proxy for trading gold.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Y: There was an intraday reversal in gold that started around noon today. The spot price was then about $1265 and fell to about $1250. The price then steadied and started to move back up after hitting $1250.


      http://www.kitco.com/charts/livegold.html

      That small decline caused GDX to go from $24.55, up $.42 from last Friday's close to an intra-day low of $22.73, with the close at $22.84 or a -5.35% decline for the day. I did buy 50 in a family members account at $22.78 near the close.

      Also around noon time, the DXY which had been sliding in early morning trading, and had fallen to 100.7, abruptly changed course and started to move up which corresponded with the decline in GLD and GDX.

      https://www.bloomberg.com/quote/DXY:CUR

      Delete
    2. SG - thanks for the security info!

      Also on gold and dollar :).

      Delete
  3. Immunogen Inc. (IMGN)
    $3.22
    Change +0.51 +18.82%
    Volume 4.07m
    Feb 27, 2017, 11:38 a.m.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/Stock/IMGN

    I own 150 shares as part of my small cap Lottery Ticket biotech basket.

    I discussed the company in a recent comment, mentioning that it had gained about 50% one day and that increase had brought me back to even. My last buy was a 50 share lot bought at $1.77 (12/12/2016) and my highest cost lot was bought at $2.88 (7/22/16). The average cost per share is $2.42.

    I have not been able to find any news.

    +++++

    ADXS (own)

    Another LT in the biotech basket is ADXS which does have news out today.

    Advaxis Inc.
    Change +0.74 +8.75%
    Volume 901,677
    Feb 27, 2017 11:39 a.m

    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/advaxis-and-sellas-announce-licensing-agreement-for-development-of-wt1-antigen-targeting-immunotherapy-300413536.html

    ReplyDelete
  4. To all participants: It is not necessary to submit a comment to receive notifications of comments here. You just have to check the box that says "Notify me."

    TENN: Thanks for the link to the NBC News poll. While the partisan split in the results is not surprising, it's astonishing to me that "Before the November election, 54 percent of Republicans expressed the view that the system was stacked against people like them. After the election of a president who pledged to lift up 'the forgotten man,' that share plummeted by 14 points."

    Wow. Somehow the mere election of Trump has re-stacked the entire system in their favor? Talk about reality creation!

    Trump is a member of the elite, yet he has somehow convinced millions of non-elites that he will advance their causes and concerns. The mind reels.

    I agree that certain news media is "exaggerating the problems with the Trump administration because they are uncomfortable and threatened with the kind of change Trump represents...."

    Of course, they SHOULD highlight and emphasize the problems, and they JUSTIFIABLY feel uncomfortable and threatened by him.

    Also, Trump himself exaggerates constantly, and he certainly feels uncomfortable and threatened by those media members that do not lean favorably toward him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathie: Trump did nothing positive for the middle class white voters throughout his entire life.

      He does have a long history of stiffing people and that would include small businesses that performed work on his properties.

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/06/09/donald-trump-unpaid-bills-republican-president-laswuits/85297274/

      http://www.salon.com/2017/01/06/trumps-new-washington-hotel-owes-laborers-more-than-5-million/

      As with any demagogue, Trump found phrases and cliches that worked on segments of the population who feel abandon and IMO do not recognize the federal programs that have benefited them in the past and present.

      If the GOP tax plan throws a few tidbits to the middle class, the plan will be then sold on that basis, even when the border tax (assuming one is proposed) takes back the tax decrease given and then some. The demagogue preys on those who are unsophisticated and unwilling to acquire accurate information for whatever reason.

      The tax plan, once it is revealed, will do what all GOP tax plans do. It will just be another version of trickle down, but the republicans know it can not be sold to their white middle class voters as benefiting primarily the rich and large corporations.

      Medicare and SS are off the table "for now" according to the Treasury Secretary. The GOP will take a knife to those middle class programs, but maybe not this year since they have too much on their plate.

      Delete
    2. A 90.1 program tonight was talking about how Mexico is reacting. Not good. We need their good will to send people back. They've always been good at accepting. Times are changing.

      Same with Nafta (I didn't hear the whole thing on tax rates) but they are playing the China card.

      Plus the obvious, taxing from Mexico won't bring jobs to the US. They'll go to another inexpensive country.

      " It is not necessary to submit a comment to receive notifications of comments here. You just have to check the box that says "Notify me.""

      Great, I'll try to remember that. Much easier.

      Delete
  5. South Gent,

    Re. IMGN even with a jump of 18+% today it is still down 68+% from its 52 week high. I think if one can get the right entry point, the biotech sector will be a good place to have some allocation (not a big one for sure).

    ReplyDelete
  6. Prudential Financial Inflation linked Retail Medium Term Notes (PFK)
    $26.30 Change +0.35 +1.34%
    Volume Feb 27, 2017, 3:59 p.m.
    Ex dividend date 2/27/17

    This senior exchange traded bond was ex interest today for its monthly interest payments.

    I have been discussing this bond since 2009.

    Prior to today, I had harvested +$1,711.34 in gains, generated by 250 shares.

    Snapshots at :
    http://seekingalpha.com/instablog/434935-south-gent/4737606-baby-bonds

    This bond matures on April 10, 2018 at $25 per share.

    https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1137774/000119312506070486/d424b3.htm

    The monthly coupon is a 2.4% spread to a CPI calculation.

    My last foray was a 100 share buy at $25.36 (12/14/16) and that lot was sold today at $26.19. That will be my last oohrah for PFK.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The Department of Justice has begun pulling back from enforcement of voting rights under Sessions and "eventually DOJ will be on the other side of this issue, supporting the right of states to make it harder to register and vote (purportedly on anti-fraud or public confidence grounds)."

    https://electionlawblog.org/?p=91350

    ReplyDelete
  8. The newly confirmed Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is a a major stockholder and Vice-Chairman of a Cyprus bank connected to Putin and other Russian billionaires including Dmitry Rybolovlev, the fertilizer king, who is a major stockholder of that bank and who paid Donal Trump $95M for a house that no one has ever lived in and is now being torn down.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/27/commerce-nominee-wilbur-ross-bank-of-cyprus-putin

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/article135001434.html

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/article133218854.html

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article135243694.html

    ReplyDelete
  9. Brokerage Commissions: A few days ago, Schwab lowered its brokerage commission rate to $6.95 from $8.95.

    Fidelity just responded by lowering its rate from $7.95 to $4.95.

    Schwab responded by reducing its rate to $4.95.

    http://pressroom.aboutschwab.com/press-release/schwab-fundslaudus-funds-news/schwab-reduces-trade-commissions-495-and-lowers-contract

    ReplyDelete
  10. The odds of a FED rate hike in March went up today after comments made by the San Francisco Fed President John Williams and the New York Fed President William Dudley:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-28/fed-speakers-jolt-march-hike-odds-higher-roiling-treasuries

    Dudley's comment in particular caused a decline in bond prices, a rise in the U.S.D. and a decline in gold's price.

    The move started shortly after noon:

    http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/Index/DXY

    http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/Fund/GLD?countrycode=US

    The CME Tool has the odds of a March increase at 62%, up from 31% yesterday. The odds of at least one .25% increase in the FF rate on or before the June 14th meeting now stands at 83.5%.

    http://www.cmegroup.com/trading/interest-rates/countdown-to-fomc.html



    The CAD/USD was weak today, possibly due to concerns that Trump would endorse a border tax tonight.

    An article in Bloomberg claimed that Paul Ryan has found an ally in Steve Bannon for this tax:


    https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-02-28/ryan-said-to-forge-unexpected-alliance-with-bannon-on-border-tax

    ReplyDelete
  11. South Gent,

    There is a Full Call on PETROQUEST 716748AA6. Redemption price is 100. Would all the interest up to the maturity date of 9/1/2017 be paid in full at the time of redemption?

    PETROQUEST and NORTHERN (665531AB5) strive. BREITBURN (106777AB1) breaks even. The rest of my junk bond basket did not make it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Y: The junk E & P bond sector was a tough one after crude started to collapse. I sold the Petroquest, Northern and a number of other junk E & P bonds and ended up taking a loss on some Linn Energy bonds. I did not own the Breitburn bonds. I lost about half of my principal on the Linn bonds after buying in the low 60s as I recall.

      Petroquest can call now without making a make whole payment. Accrued and unpaid interest to the redemption date has to be paid.

      Delete
  12. I published a new post:

    https://tennesseeindependent.blogspot.com/2017/03/observations-and-sample-of-recent_1.html

    I added some links discussing late breaking news on Trump's Russia problems.

    ReplyDelete