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Tim Travis
This morning I finally had the opportunity to read the most recent Chairman’s letter from Samuel Palmisano, who had been the CEO of IBM before stepping down recently.  He has done a remarkable job of converting a business that was focused both on the Enterprise and the Consumer, to a business that is at the...
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As most of you know I’m a huge fan of Bruce Berkowitz of Fairholme funds, and we have a lot of similar positions in our TTCM portfolios.  Last year was a horrible year for many value investors, and the main takeaway is how quickly somebody can be torn down in the investment management industry.  What...
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The idea that the Federal Reserve can accurately forecast the financial results and capital ratios for these massive banks assuming an 8% decline in GDP, a 50% decrease in stocks, a 20% decrease in housing prices, and an unemployment rate of 13% is truly laughable.  There are just far too many inputs and projections to...
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Today the Wall Street Journal posted an article outlining some of the technological steps that Sears is taking to improve their retail performance.  While I think these programs are good I am still not really optimistic as to their future as a retailer in their current form.  I think Sears has tremendously valuable brands and...
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UnionBanCal Corp announced today that they are acquiring Pacific Capital Bancorp PCBC for $46 a share.  This valuation is in excess of 2 times book value.  While PCBC regional footprint is attractive, it is interesting to note that the huge US Banks, BAC, C, JPM, MS, GS are trading below book value, and in many...
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This author did an excellent job outlining the investment thesis for Bank of America.  His premise is that the warrants are more attractive than the common stock due to the inherent leverage involved, but I tend to disagree because a large percentage of future profits are likely to be paid out via dividends, and I’m...
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We should see the release of Federal Reserve’s draconian stress test this week which should clear the path for many of the stronger banks to increase their dividends and share buybacks.  It is important for these companies to be able to operate in the shareholders best interests, yet still follow all regulatory guidelines. For the...
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The following article is pretty indicative of the bullish argument for gold.  While I certainly have no faith in any paper currencies, I’d much rather invest in assets that are likely to grow and that have some level of pricing power.  One time Warren Buffett was asked by a student how they could protect themselves...
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It looks like the Federal Reserve is back at it providing leaks to the press, and as usual it sheds a negative light on the banks.  I’m all for higher capital requirements but the rules have to be clear. It’s silly to come up with these fictional “stress tests” scenarios, where one group argues that...
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It is interesting to see that hardest hit states from housing are leading gains in employment.  It is important to remember why states like California, Florida, Arizona, and Nevada were growing so fast to warrant the increasing home prices in the first place.  They are very desireable places to live, particularly for the baby boomer...
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