Whole Foods to Shorts: "Drop Dead"

I was in a Whole Foods store on Super Bowl Sunday earlier this month stocking up on microbrews (Dogfish Head Ale) and gourmet potato chips (North Fork).  The place was packed, which was weird because half the other stores in the shopping center had “going out of business signs” in the windows. I didn’t think…

Hot Links: Berkshire, UBS and the Microsoft Store

Hot Links for Weekend Reading Warren Buffett has had a tough year so far and an especially tough week.  The Bespoke Investment Group shows us the ugly year-to-date evidence.  Berkshire Hathaway common stock was demolished during a week that saw many of Buffett’s largest stock holdings plummet, for example Wells Fargo and US Bancorp.  On…

Items That Almost Made the Stimulus Bill

With almost a trillion dollars up for grabs, congressmen and women from every state took the opportunity to shove through some of their constituents’ pet projects they’ve been sitting on for years.  Yes, the bill is pretty bloated, and many of the items have nothing to do with current economic stimulus. Unfortunately, there were some fairly…

Your Oil Stocks Aren't Coming Back, Chulo

Remember when Intel (INTC), Microsoft (MSFT), Dell (DELL), Lucent (ALU), Yahoo (YHOO) and Cisco (CSCO) ruled the markets?  There was an era, roughly 1997 to 2000 when those stocks actually mattered.  They were important companies doing big things in terms of providing the technology needed for the next century’s communications and internet build-out.  And then,…

Retraining Investment Bankers in New York City

According to a story in the New York Times, Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to stem the loss of talent and jobs from the ailing financial sector by retraining investment bankers, similar to what Detroit has done with it’s laid-off auto workers.  With an expected 65,000 total jobs to be lost on Wall Street, will Bloomberg’s…

Quick Comment: Stanford Bank Ponzi Scheme

I’ve been asked for my thoughts on the latest Ponzi scheme, the Stanford International Bank Certificate of Deposit Fraud… #1  If you put your entire “life savings” into a bank in the Caribbean, chances are you’ve got something to hide, so…sucks for you. #2  This is a CD paying out double what every other CD…

Golden Age for Activist Investors? 'Bout Time!

“A lot of people die fighting tyranny.  The least I can do is vote against it.” – Activist Carl Icahn, Texaco Annual Shareholder Meeting 1998 Could 2009 be a Golden Age for Activist Investors?  Ken Squire wrote a pretty convincing case in Barron’s this week and I can only say that it’s about time. His…

Missed the Gold Rally? Now What?

Gold hit a 7 month high today, breaking $960 an ounce. The fear trade is very much alive as companies worldwide cocur that we have a FUBAR economy and probably will for awhile. On top of that, Count Porkula signed the stimulus bill into law this afternoon which basically authorizes the mass dilution and devaluation of the dollar. This in the hopes that a bullet train from Vegas to Disneyland and the building of a Frisbee golf park (not joking) will be stimulative enough to offset the economic Armageddon in our midst.

Celebrity Apprentice: Trump Bankruptcy or Not, the Show Must Go On.

Donald Trump is one of the most interesting and iconic figures in the history of American business.  He’s a billionaire and has an unmatched flair for marketing in the real estate world.  That said, Trump should be admired from a distance…and don’t EVER go into the casino business with him. For the second time in…

Hot Links: Maxine Waters, Bailout Nation and A-Rod

Hot Links for Weekend Reading This week, we watched another episode of half-educated Congressional grandstanding.  This time around, the focus of misguided indignation was how much TARP money ended up being paid out to executive compensation and bonus by the largest banks. The show-stealer was none other than Maxine Waters, the representative of California’s 35th…