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  • On 31 Jul 2014 in The stock market is not going to crash and will soon make new highs, mell said:

    indigenous says

    mell says

    I don't have enough time to research specific stocks in RE besides the day job and biotech research, so I just buy SRS.

    It seems the problem would be that Yellin is determined not to let anything fall.

    If you buy a put it would seem hard to predict the when part? Or do you short them.

    I have been avoiding options, I don't like to time exactly. I'd rather follow a certain stock or sector and then take a short or long bet, with enough firepower to average down if the timing was a bit off. I think housing is very vulnerable right now ,Yellen or not.

  • On 31 Jul 2014 in The stock market is not going to crash and will soon make new highs, mell said:

    indigenous says

    mell says

    short real estate as a hedge.

    Which ones?

    I don't have enough time to research specific stocks in RE besides the day job and biotech research, so I just buy SRS. This is not the best choice as these vehicles are mostly meant to be held short term due to decay, but if you catch the market in the right mood those can rally aggressively and since you really just buy a short index your potential losses are always limited. Plus most brokerage firms allow you to trade these commission free. SRS also will rally on rate increases and underperform in a continued cheap rate environment (IMO).

  • On 31 Jul 2014 in The stock market is not going to crash and will soon make new highs, mell said:

    I have been mostly long with selected small cap biotechs and recently am short real estate as a hedge.

  • On 31 Jul 2014 in Feminists Comfort Single Women, mell said:

    edvard2 says

    Oh boy. here we go again with another predictably nutty post. Surprise. Surprise....

    You certainly applied a whole lot of logic there.

  • On 31 Jul 2014 in Feminists Comfort Single Women, mell said:

    Strategist says

    Eventually you will find Mrs. Rin, at which point you will take an opposite view of life.

    This is not that much different from saying to a gay person: "Eventually you will become straight like me and take an opposite view of life."

  • On 31 Jul 2014 in Feminists Comfort Single Women, mell said:

    Eventually you will hike the Appalachian trails!

  • On 31 Jul 2014 in Feminists Comfort Single Women, mell said:

    Call it Crazy says

    Once again, the miserable ones are people who don't know how to pick the right mate...

    Statistically speaking they all cannot pick the right one because that pool is limited. If they did, you may have not found your wife, so you have to give them some slack.

    Call it Crazy says

    But, to make blanket statements like you have, well, they just don't fit. But if it makes you feel better about YOUR situation, go for it!

    A lot of (if not more) married people do the same thing to feel better about their situation.

    Having been on both sides many times the grass is always greener on the other side - it's human nature.

    Strategist says

    To claim being single is the key to happiness is dead wrong.

    He never did - he only commented on his personal situation. There are clearly people who are better off single, in fact studies have shown that there are differences in the brains of those who prefer to always have a partner and those that prefer independence. If you're fair you'd acknowledge that the married/female side started with the generalizations first. To each their own, he's leaving more "desirable" ones for those who aspire a lifelong marriage with a quality woman ;)

  • On 30 Jul 2014 in Study: 35% of Americans face debt collectors, mell said:

    corntrollio says

    Either the people who are allegedly getting balance billed (in contravention of insurance contracts) are lazy (i.e. per your example, too lazy to make a phone call that takes 2-5 mins) or they don't understand their insurance policies. Or they are going to out-of-network providers and not dealing with them properly.

    Family members and I have seen numerous doctors in San Francisco, the East Bay, the Peninsula, and the North Bay, and not once have they or I gotten balance billed for an in-network doctor.

    Do they routinely happen *to you* for some reason?

    It's a broken system. It happens mainly for PPOs, HMOs are safer (but not immune) in that regard (but you lose free choice). And that practice is not illegal, even if you are at an in-network provider, some of the services rendered there may be provided by an out-of-network provider, esp. in a hospital. Good luck trying to take your business/treatment elsewhere just because you found out that the radiologist is "out-of-network". Again, HMOs can limit these fees, but then you lose the free market power of choosing a doctor, because you need a referral.

  • On 30 Jul 2014 in Study: 35% of Americans face debt collectors, mell said:

    corntrollio says

    Not sure where you're getting this -- suspect either you or the person in question just doesn't understand your health insurance policy. Either that or you need to find non-fraudster doctors -- everything turtledove had said about this matter is correct.

    I'm getting this from daily life, this is not fraud, maybe attempted fraud, so you can dispute it and they can take it back. Do you think everyone has the time to walk into the hospital or the office or call everyone involved? I think it's great that she did that, and we need more to speak up, but these balance bills happen routinely here in the bay area.

    The system is broken and inviting fraud. If there was price discovery and transparency in the first place, you pay the publicly stated amount and that's it. Even better, you can shop around first. But that's a too novel idea for the health-care sector heavily protected by its cronies.

  • On 30 Jul 2014 in Fed Buys 71% of US Treasuries! We Have to Abandon Free Market Principles...., mell said:

    iwog says

    Deflation never works for anyone who works. EVER.

    We have discussed periods of deflation before in countries that coincided with economic stability and prosperity. Not sure why we have to bring those up again and again. A deflationary depression is as symptom of a failed economy/monetary policy, it's not the cause. We also have discussed how inequality declined during the 2008 bust and then sharply resumed its uptrend after QE was instantiated.

    iwog says

    You want to do economic battle with someone who has millions in his money market account and doesn't even need that money to pay his bills?

    They don't compete for every house that is on the market, there was plenty of opportunity to buy for the middle-class in 2008, and some did. The problem is that the media prolongs the doom in periods of correction and people follow the herd mentality, while it hypes the bubble in bull markets and lets retail run into the open knife.

    100K still can buy you a nice house all cash in many areas. You can largely increase your savings by ditching TV, expensive cell phones and providers, rent in cheaper cities and areas and don't compete in the rat race. Think about it, pass on the wedding ring and the wedding and you have a nice downpayment for your house. Don't have pets and/or kids if you cannot afford it. As Zak said, opt out. I agree that the state of savings is dismal and has been for a while, but that is a direct consequence of instant gratification and promotion of debt-schemes.

  • On 30 Jul 2014 in Fed Buys 71% of US Treasuries! We Have to Abandon Free Market Principles...., mell said:

    I'd have to agree with Zak on that. Debt and leverage killed the middle-class, not the singularity of 2008.

  • On 30 Jul 2014 in Fed Buys 71% of US Treasuries! We Have to Abandon Free Market Principles...., mell said:

    Heraclitusstudent says

    Most people don't keep their savings in FDIC insured bank accounts, especially if they have enough of it so the max is a problem.

    Yes, they need to pay attention and split up accounts that are too big.

    Heraclitusstudent says

    401K accounts are in stocks and bonds, right? Or maybe money market?

    Same here. If you're nearing retirement and are still mostly in stocks you're not paying attention.

    Heraclitusstudent says

    A lot of people would see the value of their house slump. i.e. your equity would vanish quickly.

    A house is a place to live, not to flip or take on large debt for.

    Heraclitusstudent says

    At the same time spending would collapse and cause massive lay-offs. If you don't lose your savings you could still lose your job.

    True, more-so for the private sector. Now take a (esp. tenured) teacher for example, they cannot buy anything at current prices. 2008 they could and they would have kept their job. Usually the top talent is safe as well, as well as industries that are very necessary for survival, but it will also eliminate a lot of jobs where demand has been artificially created for, the purge there is a good thing

    Heraclitusstudent says

    And while a depression would assume the government stands out of the way, there is no question the government could then intervene and confiscate part of your savings, or replace them by a new currency.

    They will do this either way, if they deficit-spend and borrow they either eventually have to confiscate and/or jack up taxes dramatically or inflate their way out, which has the same effect. If you think this is a possibility, then you need to diversify into foreign assets and currencies. Not that hard to do.

    Heraclitusstudent says

    Bottom line, I think it is naive that you can plan for any possible events.

    Maybe not so much for catastrophes, for monetary events you sure can IMO.

    Heraclitusstudent says

    If there is a depression, most people will be impacted, including many who think they would profit from it.

    That may be true, but to change the mindset towards diversification and overcoming addiction to debt and stop believing everything your financial advisor and the FED/government tells you, major corrections are necessary. And they are less severe if not tampered with and without cheap credit bubbles blown everywhere.

  • On 30 Jul 2014 in Fed Buys 71% of US Treasuries! We Have to Abandon Free Market Principles...., mell said:

    iwog says

    Where were you? Where was anyone??

    A lot of people were scared, and a lot simply didn't need to buy a house. Or they thought they could even buy it cheaper - greed works on the high and the low end, for and against you.

    Heraclitusstudent says

    The same number of people would be able to buy as today. It's a function of the number of houses people want to sell and people want to buy.

    Just the price would be different.

    People here just think they are smarter than the rest and will somehow escape the disruptions, show up with their mattresses full of cash and get a house.

    If you wish for a deflationary depression, you better be ready to lose all your savings.

    I agree that the number would probably not change significantly in terms of who could afford to buy it, but less probably would because of the herd mentality. I disagree with losing all your savings, you can diversify into multiple bank accounts insured to the max. FDIC amount which is currently backed by money printing if necessary (unlimited borrowing ability), if they reinstate a limit then you'd have to look at how well the FDIC is funded. But you definitely won't lose your savings if you diversify and go for safe vehicles. Also 2008 was not a deflationary depression, it was a needed meaningful correction in overheated sectors.

  • On 30 Jul 2014 in Study: U.S. standard of living in 2030 may be no better than in 2000, mell said:

    Rin says

    Ok, this is another BS article, talking about skills shortage? Seriously, what skills?

    Well in SW Eng. it's more like this: "We are looking for a full-stack rock-star genius, nothing less". Note that full-stack not only means full-stack on the SW side, also operational aspects and QA, because QA still pushes buttons and says it doesn't work and also networking to help out Ops, which doesn't exactly take any work away from the Developer. So the full-stack guy finally shows up after 2+ years of interviewing, and the company says: "We like you, we will pay you 130K", to which the full-stack guy laughs out loud heartily and says "I need 200K+ and don't do deadlines" as he leaves the office. Then the company goes on file complaining they cannot find "skilled" people and slowly fades away hiring local juniors or code-moneys in outsourcing-land, experiencing one disaster after the other. Rinse, repeat ;)

  • On 29 Jul 2014 in Study: 35% of Americans face debt collectors, mell said:

    Call it Crazy says

    Strategist says

    What happens if the doctor's staff messes up and does not submit in a timely manner? The insurance does not pay, and you get stuck with the bill?

    That's the doctor's problem. Sure, they might try to bill YOU for their error, but if they didn't bill the insurance company in the required time frame, it's not your problem.

    Worst case scenario, you can settle with the doctor for what would be your co-pay amount.

    The problem is it costs an awful lot of time and nerves, time some people with long hours or double jobs simply don't have, or they have to browse and comment on patnet.

  • On 29 Jul 2014 in Study: 35% of Americans face debt collectors, mell said:

    turtledove says

    mell says

    And even if they screw up, they will still send you the bill similar to the additional charges.

    It is against their contract with the insurance company to "balance bill." A contracted provider must agree to accept the terms of the fee schedule or he/she will lose his/her network status. If you think that's what's happening, you do have recourse. Unless the doctor is out of network.

    Only if the visit went routinely, they can find ways for add-ons. Technically you are right and I have seen friends disputing balance bills successfully, although after a very long fight that cost you much more in billable hours than it saved you. I have not seen a doc lose their network status, maybe if enough people complain that can happen, but insurances don't want to have a patchy doctor network then they lose their appeal. The balance bills are still routine here in the bay area, esp for in-network PPOs.

  • On 29 Jul 2014 in Study: 35% of Americans face debt collectors, mell said:

    JH says

    mell says

    In what other field can you suddenly receive a first-time bill in the mail from 2 years ago that is marked as very past due and has some cryptic bs on it, followed by an insane amount to pay.

    Hahaha, just had one of those last week: 20 month old claim they denied last week. WTF???

    Told 'em to fuck off. Well, discussed the claim and they took care of it. So I didn't have to go all ape shit on them, fortunately...would not have been good for my health...

    I once had to call a health-network 5 times within 2 years to repeatedly give them the active insurance info at the time of treatment, it did not go into their system before the 5th time and I always got those claim denied bills. I have also had cases where I could not get past the receptionist - for whatever reason she determined the doc would not be "interested". It's like a secret society or mafia. When I look at the medical system I actually start believing in free-masons and conspiracy theories, lizard people and what not!

  • On 29 Jul 2014 in Study: 35% of Americans face debt collectors, mell said:

    turtledove says

    Doctor's must submit bills in a timely manner. Your insurance company has a limit (I've not known one to exceed 120 days; many are 90) that your doctor must abide by if he/she is contracted with them (if the doctor is listed in the insurance directory, they are contracted). Look into it.

    Doctor's also "must" abide by the amounts set by the insurance for those visits/procedures. In CA, close to non of them does, they will send you always an additional amount to pay. With the timely submission there is a rule for maximum lag, but only if no action was taken, if there was a back and forth you may see the bill very very late. And even if they screw up, they will still send you the bill similar to the additional charges. Sure you have rights not to pay and dispute, but they can still go after you with private collectors, or simply tell you you're not welcome at their office anymore. If you have a full time job, this is a major blow and waste of time.

  • On 29 Jul 2014 in Study: 35% of Americans face debt collectors, mell said:

    curious2 says

    How many of the hospital bills were even legitimate? They have legislation to maximize prices and a business model built on robbing people for every possible cent and more. Medical bankruptcies in Massachusetts increased after Romneycare, and now that it's gone national, people continue to fall behind on hospital bills. Maybe the problem isn't the consumers, maybe they have legitimate reasons for not paying crazy astronomical prices, maybe it's fraudulent activity by the hospital corporations.

    Absolutely - that goes for doctors/dentists as well. In what other field can you suddenly receive a first-time bill in the mail from 2 years ago that is marked as very past due and has some cryptic bs on it, followed by an insane amount to pay. And when you call they give you some bs about insurance this and that but the material used this and that and we submitted so late because if this and that and by the end you really have no clue how to find out whether this is legit or not. There is no price discovery, no transparency and no accountability for these institutions.

  • On 29 Jul 2014 in What is up with the rash of trashy posts lately?, mell said:

    CL says

    A quick google search shows headlines that say "Wage gap in technology exceedingly small", especially in San Franciscco.

    exceedingly small = Zero. Maybe it's a local bay area phenomenon, I cannot speak for every area and sector in the US, but Occam's razor would dictate to be skeptical of claims of pay gaps.

    CL says

    Were the salaries public knowledge?

    Some have administrative/managerial function and had info about other salaries in their hospital etc. But probably not public by default.

    CL says

    I've seen deliberations in my past, and seen firsthand concerns for people (men) who have children, families, etc. They "need" it more, the logic goes. Haven't you?

    I haven't.

    CL says

    Women can get the low-end, and will likely accept it if they encounter discrimination at every prospective employer.

    Like Peter P said businesses who discriminate against better suited workers don't stay in business for very long, it's against their own interest. Now, all the affirmative action and harassment and pregnancy laws do make women a potential liability for their employers, so they may be citing other reasons for not employing her but really don't want to take on that liability. Those laws are not only unfair to the other genders/races, they can end up hurting those they were "intended to help". Next stop then is the law mandating to employ a certain percentage of a gender or race, which are even unfairer, but also doom the competitiveness of the company and the country.

  • On 29 Jul 2014 in If You Are a Zionist You Must Be a Racist, mell said:

    Your -isms are killing independent George!

  • On 29 Jul 2014 in What is up with the rash of trashy posts lately?, mell said:

    Dan8267 says

    A implies B does not imply B implies A.

    I'm quite comfortable at math, so are you trying to say that

    Every racist (A) now switched to using the word thug (B), but not everyone using the word thug (B) is a racist (A)?

    I'd still question the truth of the first half of that statement.

    Aside from that, character assassination, justified (provable) or not is very hard to take back these days and can ruin somebody's career/life forever. Hence I'd like to see proper and ample evidence in each case, similar to a trial and when there is no sufficient evidence you have to give the benefit of the doubt. Interestingly pointing fingers with heavy allegations is very close to denouncing people and IMO much much closer to Nazi practice than being a (closet or not) racist that abides by the law but voices their opinion (anonymously or not).

  • On 29 Jul 2014 in What is up with the rash of trashy posts lately?, mell said:

    CL says

    http://blogs.marketwatch.com/capitolreport/2014/04/07/women-earn-less-than-men-even-in-woman-dominated-jobs/

    I don't want to post the countless studies and articles "debunking" this data from the Institute of women's policy research. Everybody has a bias towards looking up studies corroborating their claim. I have worked in tech management and (over)seen salaries, and there simply was no pay gap. Obviously I cannot speak for every sector, but I have insight into a few other sectors (medical, restaurant/service, education) and I have never observed a pay gap there either, nor did the women I know in these fields report one. The last point is simple logic. There is zero reason for a (male or not) manager to incorporate a pay gap (no personal gain, no gain for the company). Occam's razor would dictate then that it is highly unlikely.

  • On 29 Jul 2014 in What is up with the rash of trashy posts lately?, mell said:

    Dan8267 says

    Really, I'm making shit up? Well, not according to Google's autocomplete.

    So what? You want to label everybody using the word thug as a racist now? People coining these "trends" and ingraining them into peoples' heads are not better than your closest racist.

  • On 29 Jul 2014 in What is up with the rash of trashy posts lately?, mell said:

    CL says

    But, if the rightwing argument is that women simply choose low paying professions, then with the disparity even in "their house"? Hmmm?

    Why do you care about the "right-wing" argument so much. You just want to fight a group you don't like and use the occasion when they made a seemingly weak argument?

    Instead, forget about left and right and look at the data within the same profession(s). There is NO pay gap.

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