Archive for September, 2009

  • Buy List YTD
    , September 30th, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    Three quarters are now on the books. This was the best quarter for stocks in 11 years, and the best two-quarter gain in 34 years.
    For the year so far, our Buy List is up 33.87% and including dividends it’s up 34.87%.
    For comparison, the S&P 500 is up just 17.03%, and with dividends it’s up 19.26%.

  • Turns Out, the Gem of Tanzania Is Just a Rock
    , September 30th, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    There could be a metaphor in here:

    One of the strangest tales in the history of company accounting looks increasingly likely to end with a fabled gem being downgraded to an unusual paper weight.
    The Gem of Tanzania, a large ruby whose £11m valuation once underpinned the finances of a failed company with yearly turnover of £103m, may be worth as little as £100.

    (Via: Felix)

  • Fake Press Release Causes IMAX Shares to Surge
    , September 30th, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    In today’s pre-market, shares of IMAX (IMAX) rose as much as 6% on the news that it was being acquired by Disney. There’s one problem. It’s not being acquired by Disney. The press release was a scam.
    Whoever did, just cut and pasted the press release for the Marvel purchase and added the name IMAX. Smart move! They also added this sentence, “If you can get in at a good price tomorrow morning at the open, it maybe something to ask the advise of your broker on.” Gee I wonder what gave them away.
    I’m guessing now they better seek the advise of their lawyers.

  • Well, That’s a V-Shaped Recovery
    , September 28th, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    I often like to look at how the Morgan Stanley Cyclical Index (^CYC) is performing relative to the S&P 500.
    The past year has been a dramatic ride. Cyclicals led the market down, the led them back up. Here’s the CYC divided by the S&P 500.
    If the equity market is correct, perhaps we’re in for a V-shaped recovery.

  • Zeroing in on Zero Hedge
    , September 28th, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Joe Hagan profiles the financial blog Zero Hedge in New York Magazine. In the past, I’ve defended Zero Hedge from attacks on its decision to use a pseudonym. And that defense, incredibly led to me being attacked on CNBC!
    Well, now we know that Dan Ivandjiiski is the man behind Tyler Durden:

    (A) 30-year-old Bulgarian immigrant banned from working in the brokerage business for insider trading. A former hedge-fund analyst, he’s also a zealous believer in a sweeping conspiracy that casts the alumni of Goldman Sachs as a powerful cabal at the helm of U.S. policy, with the Treasury and the Federal Reserve colluding to preserve the status quo. His antidote? A purifying market crash that leads to the elimination of the big banks altogether and the reinstatement of genuine free-market capitalism.

    While many of the posts are excellent, more than a few are—as the passage above suggests—completely off the fringe. They’re poorly reasoned, paranoid and highly conspiratorial.
    I wondered why could there be such a difference in the quality of the posts. Apparently, Ivandjiiski is merely the leader but there are up to 40 different people who write under the name Tyler Durden.
    I have to agree with Felix, the Durden cell should be broken up. Again, I have no problem with the use of pseudonyms, but we should know which pseudonym wrote what so readers can skip over the Grassy Knoll stuff.
    I think ZH’s success underscores the fact that the blogosphere is biased toward sites that express moral outrage. Criticizing people is, apparently, far too tame. No, you need to explain why your opponents are evil. In fact, they’re doubly evil because they know they’re evil yet they do nothing about it. Now that’s evil!
    I guess a lot of folks aren’t happy unless they’re upset. And with that we go to today’s poll question: Should we increase welfare payments to illegal immigrants?

  • Michael Moore: Jesus Wouldn’t Play the Stock Market
    , September 28th, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    As to the Jesus’ financial views, I’ll have to defer to those with greater Biblical knowledge. The only financial stand I know Jesus had was his expelling the money changers from the Temple.
    But I don’t follow the argument that investing in the stock market is itself immoral. In fact, I think preventing capital from getting to prospective entrepreneurs is morally questionable.

  • The Five Most Overpaid CEOs
    , September 28th, 2009 at 12:26 pm lists the five most overpaid CEOs. They are:
    Michael Jeffries, Abercrombie & Fitch
    James W. Stewart, BJ Services Company
    Brian Roberts, Comcast Corp.
    John Faraci, International Paper
    Eugene Isenberg, Nabors Industries
    Once again, I didn’t make the list.

  • My Thoughts on HR 1207
    , September 28th, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    I want to address the issue of HR 1207 and the Fed audit. If I were in Congress, I would support the bill. I say this even though I find the much of the pseudo-populist impulse behind the bill repellent.
    I’ve read Mr. Alvarez’s testimony and I think he makes several good points. The problem is that too much of the argument relies on scenarios that are too distant from coming about.
    The crux of his argument is that all these bad things will happen once a full audit is allowed. Yes, they could happen but it’s not clear that these are immediate dangers.
    I’m still curious as to what the conspiracy crowd expects to find out. Matt Taibbi writes: “It’s becoming abundantly clear that at some point we’re going to start to hear details about monstrous front-running operations involving the major banks on Wall Street.”
    Hmmm. Call me a doubter on that. And if the Fed has been trying to manipulate the market, I’m afraid they’re not doing a very good job.

  • Get Your Resumes Ready
    , September 28th, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Goldman Sachs is hiring.
    It must be part of some plot.

  • Gambling on Zombie Stocks
    , September 28th, 2009 at 11:41 am

    The LA Times writes that investors are speculating on busted stocks like Lehman and Washington Mutual that are still trading.
    Shares of Lehman have nearly quintupled in the last four weeks despite having some business problem. Some of those problems include having no business or employees.
    Still, did I mention the stock? Boo-yah!!
    These folks are literally buying shares that are worth less than the paper they’re printed on. If you’ve ever needed clear-cut proof against efficient markets, this is it.