I've had my eye on the P&C insurers for a while now partly because they're selling at such tasty prices. The big questions with these guys are whether competition is going to kill profitability and whether a basically storm-free year last year makes them look more impressive than they really are. [more]
Does anybody argue with the fact that Cramer is entertaining? This article from the NY Post highlights where he got a little disclosure-happy. [more]
I'm not really big on making short-term predictions, but I put myself out there on my preview of Morgan Stanley's quarter. While I was right that MS put up good results, not to mention that institutional securities was a big factor, I dare say that I was wrong about people not caring. The stock is up 5% today after the earnings release, more of a bump that any of the banks saw last week. [more]
Dear Mr. Schwartzman, [more]
Blodget chimes in on the price paid for YouTube. I wonder if he is he the best guy to turn to when it comes to analyzing Internet businesses? [more]
Accredited Home Lenders (Nasdaq: LEND) was up a big 52% yesterday -- really nice for those Johnny-come-lately speculators, but small consolation for investors who were buying at $30 back in December. And despite the one-day jump, it's pretty clear that the subprime lenders, like Accredited, New Century (OTC: NEWC.PK), Fieldstone (Nasdaq: FICC), and Impac (NYSE: IMH), are rapidly getting swallowed up in the wreckage stemming from rising subprime defaults and a slowing in the real estate market. [more]
If you haven't had a chance to check out these videos from ElCapitan yet, do so now.
Then you may come back and thank me for insisting
Paying attention to what others are doing in CAPS can be good for your wealth.
Here's an interesting opinion on the subprime shakeout. [more]
Maybe somewhat lost in the subprime fallout picture is what's actually happening to the debtors that are defaulting. If you're anything like me you have a pretty easy time picturing the greedy homebuyer trying to get more house (or more houses) than they can afford, but a lot of the cases are likely buyers for whom purchasing a home was previously out of reach. [more]
What's sweet about the performance of Fortress (FIG) since the IPO hit the NYSE? Sure the principals are now billionaires from the offering, but it's been a pretty sorry experience for early investors. Has everyone lost their taste for this hyped IPO that quickly?
It's long, but here's a good piece talking about India's infrastructure woes.
Here's an article from Business Week. [more]
When Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) announced last year that it was going to buy YouTube, the team was mum on YouTube's financial details and how it valued the company. On the conference call announcing the deal, Google chief counsel David Drummond said the purchase price was "very fair." In acquisition-speak, that usually means one thing: overvalued. [more]
"It makes sense for us to collaborate for the sake of mankind." [more]
You may have caught Seth's post yesterday that highlighted how succinctly DR Horton's CEO summed up what's ahead for the housing market. [more]
An article here presents pro and con positions. There are some interesting comments at the bottom too. [more]
If you're really worried about the potential housing crash, you can always hedge yourself out using housing price futures. They're traded on the CME.
It's not a huge mystery why housing prices went up. Even when the Internet boom pulled back we didn't really hit hard times. In fact, we haven't had a true recessionary quarter since back in 1991. No wonder Greenspan is talking about a return to "normal" business cycles. [more]
Who knows how much longer it continues, but for now, at least, it is. [more]
At this point the CAPS scoring system has been pretty widely discussed within the community. As many have pointed out, it's really hard to get a good feel for how the system will shake out until there's a good amount of time behind it. [more]
I'm kind of surprised that it's taken me this long to get myself on a Wii system, but I finally did. It's hard to predict whether I'd enjoy it a year from now as much as I do now, but so far I can't stop playing. It's nice because it's more about just having fun playing the game than it is about playing a game that has amazing graphics and is exceedingly complex. Don't get me wrong, those games are great, but the learning curve on a lot of them is enough to keep me at bay. [more]
A Bloomberg article reported last night that traders within the large investment banks are trading debt instruments at levels that suggest that there could be trouble ahead for the banks. Prices for credit default swaps (CDS) for the debt of some of the major firms like Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER), and Bear Stearns (NYSE: BSC) have been steadily rising so far this year, suggesting that risk is rearing its ugly head. [more]