I Beg to Differ

By Lloyd Graff


The scuttlebutt in the machinery business is that the Branford Group and partners made a bundle on the Bronson Products auction a week ago. It had been a hotly contested bid by several auction groups to buy the machinery and tooling and accessories. Branford and partners allegedly had about $9 million in the deal. Knowledgeable observers think they did extremely well on the deal with the aggressive bidding and buyers premium. How did the competition miss the upside on a deal like that?

My sources tell me that a Korean buyer had been interested in buying the package but was not interested in everything, so he passed on the deal. Later he leased the building, took on several contracts, and became a super aggressive bidder for key pieces in the auction. With big machines like Kuraki boring mills already in place he virtually had to buy many of the pivotal pieces in the auctions. It was a deal made in heaven for Branford and partners.

While prices at Bronson Products went high, generally auction prices and machinery prices have softened. With IMTS coming up, buyers with money may be waiting for advantageous pricing just before or at the show. Machine tool builders and their distributors are cutting prices with the strong dollar and weak market. The oil and gas price softening has proven to be a disaster for the machine tool market, new and used. We are seeing it in weak prices all over.

While oil and gas and mining does not comprise a large percentage of the total machinery market, it has been enough to tip machine tool prices into a steep downturn. It appears that today’s rebound to $50 oil is not robust enough to change the pessimism in the oil patch. Tesla and Nissan may still be struggling to move the needle with their electric cars, but the market makers on oil prices are still holding the market at near $50.

It is fascinating to watch the tug of war in the financial markets. The Templeton Funds, a major player out of California, are buying oil stocks like crazy. They believe that $50 oil cannot hold and the market could retrace it’s steps back to $100. Maybe they are right, but I doubt it. With Iran back in the market, the Russians desperate for cash, and the American frackers hot to get back on track, I think we will be in the $40-$55 range for years, and then trend lower.

But $50 oil is the consensus now and the consensus is often wrong, as it has been on interest rates this year, when all the “smart people” were sure we were headed much higher with Fed tightening. Today the 10-year U.S. Treasury is around 1.50%.

The consensus view was also quite wrong on the Bronson Products auction.


The summer solstice combining with a full moon is a rare occurrence in the northern hemisphere. So is a Brexit vote to break up the European Union and the Russian track team being banished from the Olympics. And Donald Trump is running against Hillary Clinton? Strange time.

I am struggling to be optimistic. It is an up-hill battle.

Politically, I see an epic debacle for the Republican Party. It is hard to see Trump winning more than a few states — Alabama, Mississippi, and West Virginia, probably. There just are not enough angry white guys to tip most states.

The only way I can envision the Republicans winning the White House in 2016 is if Trump dies, becomes incapacitated, or quits the race. They are all possible but remote happenings. I envision a last ditch effort to persuade the Donald to quit if his numbers indicate a 35-40% Trump vote, which would be enormously humiliating for him especially if he brought down the Republican majorities in the House and Senate and enabled Hillary Clinton to have several Supreme Court picks who could be confirmed. The potential upheaval in the High Court could put enormous social media pressure on Trump to step aside for his vice presidential pick to save the party and even win the race.

This could all happen very quickly but probably not before the Convention. Trump wants his coronation. After all, he did win the nomination. May he not pick Newt Gingrich for his Vice President.

Question: Would you like to vacation in England?

Share this post

17 thoughts on “I Beg to Differ

  1. Michael Gore

    Yes, Language is a breeze and they are now free of the EU! The beer & food is decent and the people are very nice. Very nice museums filled with ”not sure how they acquired this ” art work.

    And I hope your wrong about Trump. Hillary is bad news for the US and the rest of the world. How would your wife treat you if you carried on with women like her husband did? My guess is you would be disgraced, and on the curb. On that note would you trust any one that has the moral bar set that low? At least Trump marries who he beds. I would argue that his current and past spouses have a higher IQ than Hillary not to mention integrity I would trust.

    I would also claim we have not had a good president since Reagan. And he was by far not the best of the best. But he gave the county its dignity back. We have been going down hill since, hitting what I hope is the bottom with the current waste of space in the white house. If Hillary gets in were seriously screwed.

    1. Terry

      Michael, I agree with everything but the Reagan part but I’m only 61 years old you might have been around for Teddy.

    2. The machinist

      Trumps wives smarter than Hillary? Seriously? Ivana was the last Trump wife that had any brains, and the Donald learned his lesson after that, Marla Maples? Please, Melanya? First year college dropout, doesnt take a lot of brains to smile and take your clothes off.
      Trump wed the women he bedded? Eventually I suppose, but he is just another serial philanderer like Bill.
      I am no fan of Hillary, but stupid she is not. she is cunning, duplicious and greedy and a pure politician through and through.
      This is just another example of the fact free world we live in today, everyone from the politicians, the news media and everybody with an opinion states pure B.S. as if it were gospel.
      And as far as worshipping “St. Ronnie” this is the biggest lie of all, he raised taxes, gave amnesty to illegals, cut and ran from Lebanon, should I continue?



  3. Donnie

    I’m not much of a Trump fan, But with Hitlery, she would be continuing the same, lame excuses for a president as the one we have now. She needs to be behind bars! From Arkansas to white house the first time if you remember there was a trail of deceit and conviction of people associated with the Clintons, along with the death of Vince Foster…. There is so much lying and deceit with her its unbelievable. Obama and Clinton are communists. If you go look at the communist party web site they endorse both of them, http://www.cpusa .org or .com With a president Clinton the supreme court will be radically changed to liberal leaning and that’s going to be terrible for the next couple generations! With Hitlery we know what we are getting. Trump has a list of 10 supreme court names he would pick if president and they are mostly conservative from what I have heard. If she become president Air Force One will need to be changed to Broomstick One! Bill Clinton always someone other than Hillary, shouldn’t you????

    1. Donnie

      Oops! I meant to say, Bill Clinton always chose someone other than Hillary, shouldn’t you?

    2. The machinist

      Vince Foster committed suicide, he was an idealistic country boy depressed by what he found in D.C. this is a well investigated and established fact….fact, you could look it up in the dictionary if you are unclear of the concept.
      There are plenty if policy related reasons to dislike Hillary, without inventing fake ones, I.e. Whitewater, Bengazi, harmless blow jobs in the oval office…

  4. rick

    no thank you

    high crime – they use knives and bats instead of guns
    There are over 2,000 crimes recorded per 100,000 population in the U.K.,” compared to “466 violent crimes per 100,000” in the United States.
    no one is allowed to defend themselves

    warm beer? no thanks

    pudding containing sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs); minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, encased in the animal’s stomach

    British ‘cuisine’, is much like government ‘efficiency’

    they use vinegar instead of ketchup to make food taste better, haw bad is it if vinegar makes food taste better?

    the Muslim mayor is banning pretty girls’ pictures on bus and underground train ads.
    ads will be BANNED
    so much for free speech…

    how soon till more terrorist acts now with the BREXIT and hopefully deportations?

    I’ll wait a bit till things settle down…

    1. Donald Green

      Try vinegar on your French Fries. It probably came from England, but it’s one of the ways we eat them in RI. Much superior to ketchup, IMHO.

  5. euromachine

    Lloyd..I read your blog regularly as you would imagine and , quite frankly , appreciate and absorb your views on many subjects even though they mainly refer to US issues. It is healthy to have varied discussions and see different viewpoints. . Most of your subject matter in this blog is irrelevant to England, the UK and Europe as a whole but must be studied and taken into consideration. But why would you pose the question.. ‘ Would you like to vacation in England..? ‘.. based on the scant evidence from your script.?? Where does that question come from..?? What does it mean.?? You mention Brexit..What does that mean to you or affects you or your readers..?? You do not elaborate. From across the pond , insulated in Chicago , you cannot have any idea of the actual ” feet on the ground ” political situation here in the UK or Europe except from what you hear and see in the media or unless you are a regular and frequent visitor to England and all European countries or have daily contact with a European partner and be fully engaged in daily European business. Maybe that is so but you do not clarify the same. In the meantime , I am quite happy to field any questions from your or your esteemed readers on the Brexit from an English point of view and engage in any meaningful discussions on the same. But any speculation is very unhelpful to all parties, US or European based , unless factual. I cannot understand what relevance holidaying in England has to do with your blog and look forward to your response. In the meantime all people from all over the world are welcome to England to enjoy a holiday and our hospitality and sample our sights and culture and please don’t worry about anything else.

  6. Lloyd Graff

    Hello euromachine. I love England. I posed the question because of $1.33 British pound and a current infatuation with currant scones. Brexit was a good excuse to pose it. I have also read that air fares are surprisingly cheap now.
    Keep reading and keep a stiff upper lip.

  7. Jack A

    I have been to England many times. Have friends in Leicester. I have enjoyed my visits there very much. Very friendly people. I even got the hang of driving on the left (with a stick shift). I have found pub food to be quite good and, along with a couple of pints of the local brew, make for a very enjoyable evening.


Comments are closed.