On Friday, we laid my wife’s grandfather to rest after he spent 98 years making this planet and his community a better place. He was a great family man, business man and banker. After a time working the railroads, running a liquor store and other jobs durin and then after the Great Depression, he spent decades as a small town banker, lending people money in Carrizozo, NM and helping his customers grow their business, avoid painful foreclosures and simply get by. The bank he ran was very profitable and well-capitalized — and he did all that without ever needing Frank Dodd or bailouts or access to taxpayer money at 0% interest rates. Bankers like him and banking like he did just doesn’t exist any more and this country is worse off because of that. Half the community showed up at his funeral and paid their respects at one of the most inspiring events I’ve been to in a long time. We can only strive to make the kind of positive impact on other people’s lives and livelihoods that he made. God bless Johnson Stearns, whom I am proud to have called my friend and grandfather-in-law.
Our new short position from Friday, reported earnings this morning is selling off big time as investors seem to conclude that the CEO might whistling past the graveyard. We’re now up nearly 10% on the short position already. Here’s why $VRX makes such a great short: “Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc CEO J. Michael Pearson said on Monday that outside pressures are creating a new pricing environment for all pharmaceutical companies…” that’s exactly what I wrote the other day when we started shorting it. The the CEO added: “…and that Valeant expects to keep increases to 10 percent or less next year.” Even 10% price increases sounds optimistic in this environment. I got most of my shares shorted around $177 or so on Friday and plan on staying short this name for some time. In fact, I’d like the opportunity to build this short up some more, but but I am not going to pile on with it down 9% on the day already.
In other news, “Ballmer owns 4% of $TWTR.” Sigh. I didn’t like seeing that Ballmer is betting with us on any of our stocks. But then again, maybe he’s due to make a good investment after all those years of bad acquisitions at $MSFT and paying $2bb for a crappy NBA team.
Wall Street is consistently wrong about the Fed’s intentions – When will the Fed raise rates? Don’t listen to Wall Street: Talk about noise. Look at this chart below, it’s disgraceful the amount of time, energy and money lost on this noise.
“New ‘Star Wars’ trailer debuts tonight during Monday Night Football.” I hate being part of the crowd, but I’m definitely part of the “I can’t hardly wait for the new Star Wars movie” crowd.
“IBM: Mac Users Need Less IT Support.” If $AAPL were to ever actually take just even 1/10th market share on the enterprise PC side, there’s another few billion in earnings than most analysts expect in years ahead.
We’ve had some nice bounces off the higher lows that we saw in most of our stocks since those posts where I was beating myself up for not having been more aggressive in selling stocks when they were at their all-time highs earlier this year.