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Everything posted by S2S

  1. There's an adage that goes like this: if you stay in the industry long enough you lose all your heroes. Ubben's blaming the shorts and "bear raid" (that line of attack had worked out for Sino Forest, GlobalStar, and countless others.. wait) did it for me.
  2. Posted without comment: from a 2003 NYTimes article. (PS: having met Ackman and came away with a good impression, I think he's a fine person. His proclivity for PR, on the other hand,...) CTZsy6lUsAE3j5m.jpg-large
  3. Very well said, Kraven. I have a hard time believing what Hester actually wrote, "Francis Chou has somehow found a worse investment than Overstock", could be considered "spiteful" or "a cheap shot" by some here. With XING selling off as much as it did, and given that Francis is one of the more prominent names in XING's holders list, I think *some* criticism is inevitable. But hey, I'm not a personal friend of his, what do I know?
  4. This long feature, drawing much materials from BlackBerry Planet: The Story of Research In Motion and the Little Device that Took the World by Storm, might not appeal to some bulls, but I thought it was an excellent read: http://www.theverge.com/2012/2/21/2789676/rim-blackberry-mike-lazaridis-jim-balsillie-lost-empire
  5. Here we go (enters the Bud Light rescue dog ;D ) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203889904577199781897959096.html
  6. Thanks for posting! Below is a review of Coursera (http://www.cs101-class.org/hub.php), the venture behind this and a handful of other online classes. It's basically Stanford's answer to MIT's OpenCourseWare. Review from http://blog.remoteresponder.net/tag/coursera/ I am a big fan of so-called Open Educational Resources (OER) including free on-line video courses. Stanford’s Databases course is the 12th I’ve completed, but only the second in which I did a “deep dive” by reinforcing learning with exercises, quizzes and exams. In general, I use OER video courses as edutainment as I usually find the extra work too time-consuming: my goal is to broadly understand how the world works, not to build expertise in every subject I study! So, conceptually, I prefer the traditional form of video courses pioneered by MIT’s OpenCourseWare which in contrast with Stanford’s new approach might be called archived courses. Archived courses make the material available without (m)any social tools. So, working through the materials in traditional OER courses usually requires extra self-discipline and commitment (unless you just watch the videos for fun as I often do). Stanford’s OER system, online at coursera.org , builds on the basic idea of OER video courses by adding deadlines, interactive feedback from automatically evaluated work, and some, including the Databases course, offer the ability to earn a “Statement of Accomplishment” for demonstrating basic proficiency. It is precisely these social enhancements that makes Stanford’s initiative so noteworthy. Together these social tools provide a shared experience with a clear set of tasks for a cohort of students working through the course at the same time. The extra interactivity and the focus of deadlines give the Stanford approach to OER a special excitement and sense of goal accomplishment which is absent in archived courses. Even though I prefer the archived courses whose videos can be more entertaining than Stanford’s tutorial-focused approach, I have to admit I was enthralled by the deadlines: they kept me focused. It should be emphasized that Stanford’s courses like the more traditional OER archival courses can be pursued at a pace that suits your time and interest: there’s no imperative to follow the deadlines or earn kudos for accomplishments.
  7. So... flip a proverbial switch (or if you prefer, take on the insufferable burden of the market cap crown) and earnings go from growing 20% y-o-y to shrinking to some levels much smaller than current (to justify the inevitable selloff many here are prognosticating, given that AAPL is currently trading at low-teens P/E ex-cash)? Many cited IBM and MSFT as precedents of tech titans getting too big for their own good, which is all well and good... except both IBM and MSFT have grown earnings fairly steadily after the so called change of thrones (MSFT peak EPS before dot-come bubble burst: $0.90, TTM EPS: $2.76).
  8. Good post, tooskinneejs. What I found interesting (or appalling, depending on who you ask) is the timing of the operating losses. 4Q is typically the peak cash flow period for retailers (before the bills for Christmas shipment come due), yet SHLD actually had to use its credit facility during the quarter.
  9. Good read, thanks for posting. So true, as often witnessed right on this board.
  10. S2S


    Here's a really, really good Bloomberg feature on Amazon's hardware effort: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-28/bezos-portrays-pocket-sized-fire-as-service-not-tablet-in-ipad-challenge.html
  11. Someone who's much smarter than me has noted that Europe can't do a TARP till the EFSF is in place. Problem is, approval of the EFSF has just been pushed back to December, the new delayed date when Slovakia is voting on the proposal. If he's right, we're screwed...
  12. PIMCO CEO Mohamed El-Erian column in today's FT:
  13. I'm writing just to say that the two posts directly above mine are awesome. Thanks ;D
  14. If I read correctly the Bloomberg screenshot that moore_capital54 posted (link to that post below), Tilson Offshore Fund's 5 year performance upto 4/29/11 ranks in 52th percentile (of all managers?). Its performance from 4/29 till now is, in all likelihood, much worse and might have even wiped out the bulk of prior period alphas, but for the moment let's work with what we got. It is awfully hard to reconcile this 52th percentile ranking with Parsad's "50 in 10,000", or 99th percentile, comment. I'm sure there is some degree of survivorship bias built in; that being said, Tilson Offshore's yearly rankings don't scream "super investors", IMHO.
  15. Wow, T2 Partners manages a lot less money (~$300M) than I thought.
  16. What constitutes "happiness", "good life" etc greatly differs from one country to the next. In Greece, they don't want jobs: they want to sit on their asses as the money comes in. A job is a burden; it wastes 8 hours a day. If he were running the European Union (EU) he would not have let Greece in. From Charlie Munger at the last Wesco meeting.
  17. "A phenomenal article", per Guy Spier http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-15/schroeder-the-hidden-meaning-behind-buffett-s-hiring.html
  18. Kyle Bass isn't very bullish... http://www.cnbc.com/id/44518427/
  19. It's been some time since I last reviewed TEF, but IIRC its dividends are significantly less secured than, say, FTE or DTEGY. I doubt the stock prices will go anywhere until the whole EU situation gets resolved, the timeline of which I have zero clarity on. Hell, even the US rural telcos (CTL, WIN, FTR) are yielding double digits. They face an entirely different set of issues though.
  20. Withdrawal (voluntary or otherwise) of a country(ies) from the Eurozone makes for good talking point but comes with (some say insurmountable) practical challenges. This UBS report does an excellent job of detailing the implicatoins (bank runs, domestic debt defaults, cessation of trades etc): http://www.scribd.com/doc/64020390/xrm45126
  21. Here's a not-so-flattering view: http://www.publicradio.org/columns/marketplace/wallstreet/2011/09/executive-level_exfoliation_at.html I'm inclined to agree with Heidi Moore's point on the personnel changes - ousting Sallie Krawcheck and Joe Price, two popular executives who have little to do with the bank's current troubles, seems like a clear power grab.
  22. Between 3-5% during the '02-07 hey days. Color me a cynic, but to sustain a $1 dividend the common would need to trade at $30+/share. I'll be very surprised if this happens by next year. Plus, if one is confident that a dramatic re-rating would occur, there's more upside in vanilla call options.
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