Here’s part of what every investor and trader should be thinking about today.
Notes on the 2011 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report, Part 1 and Warren Buffett, Mercenary and Matt Stoller: Warren Buffett Says “Hormones” Will Fix the Housing Crisis Talk about some backlash. Man, I’ve been pointing out the recently building anti-Apple-backlash, but there’s some real anti-Buffett backlash building out there too. Matt writes, “Buffett helped cause the housing crisis through his massive ownership stake in Moody’s (he is the single largest shareholder), and he profited immensely from the government bailouts. His assertions that the financial crisis was an “economic Pearl Harbor” was a similarly self-serving explanation that diverted attention from a crisis resulting from events he helped shape to some sort of external causation. He is now profiting from legal and regulatory forbearance against entities he owns. If Wells or BofA were held accountable for their systemic abuse of the property rights system through foreclosure fraud, or if they were forced to reserve against second liens more accurately, it’s unlikely they would be good investments.” I think Moody’s a definite short at some point, but it’s a matter of timing…need to see it crack first. And maybe Berkshire should be a short candidate too, given how much and how many of its investments rely on taxpayer largesse.
On GE, Just Say “No” Here’s another article from one of my very favorite financial writers, Bruce Krasting, who details in this one how Kansas City Southern KSU +0.56% is using taxpayer largesse to fund its purchases of GE trains despite both companies currently seeing record profits. Guess who one of KSU’s biggest shareholder is? Yup, Warren Buffett. Here’s Bruce going directly after Buffett - Another Sweet deal for Buffett – Who pays? You do!
There is no ethical smartphone – I’ve asked before as I’ve pointed out that The anti-Apple backlash is coming, “What you gonna do, buy an HP or a Dell? You don’t think those have parts and labor that come from places where people are treated barely better than slaves? What’s the alternative to buying tech products made with near-slave labor? Being a Luddite?” This article elaborates on that problem for all us smartphone consumers who care about human rights.
AT&T: ‘Jury Still Out’ on RIM vs. Windows Phone – I wasn’t aware there was a jury that cared about RIMM vs Windows. Were you? Do you know anybody who has a Windows Phone? I don’t. I don’t know anybody who wants one or even mentions the concept of a Windows phone to me anymore. And RIMM? I’ve said forever that RIMM is dead (here in 2009- Three problems facing RIMM. Here in 2010- RIMM Is Dead; now what? And here again in 2011- RIMM is (still) truly dead) because their smartphone platform has been bypassed and will never gain critical mass again. I still think that.
Nokia takes wraps off two new smartphones - Speaking of nobody caring about Windows phones. Contrast the fact that you didn’t know and don’t care about these new Nokia smartphones with the upcoming iPhone 5 launch that will likely hit sometime this year.
On PIGS on Drugs – This is a fascinating article about the tens of billions of dollars that the big pharma companies are likely to have to write off in the form of non-performing outstanding balances at EU nations. Italy ain’t gonna be paying all its outstanding pharma bills at 100 cents on the dollar. Big implications for Pfizer, Merck and the other big pharma stocks, most of which are at multi-year highs and are likely getting to be ripe for the shorting.
G20 inches toward $2 trillion in rescue funds – More welfare for giant banks around the globe. What are is that $2 trillion going to rescue and are we sure we couldn’t find a better bang for our buck than throwing a few more trillion dollars of welfare at the endlessly broken banking system? The trillions we’ve given so far haven’t worked. How long before this $2 trillion “runs out”? I bet we’ll still be hearing how banks need yet more welfare to save the system this time next year too.
European bank bonus cuts mask basic pay hikes – Like I asked, who is that $2 trillion supposed to be rescuing? The madness won’t stop and while you and I as law-abiding, taxpaying citizens have to fight this stuff, it probably means we’re truly headed into a few more asset bubbles before the big crash/bottom finally comes. Timing is everything, as I’d noted above earlier.
U.S. Stocks Rise on Home Sales Data – Millions of people around the world are choosing to pay fractionally more this hour than they were earlier this morning when the same headline could have read: “U.S. Stocks DROP on Home Sales Data“. Ignore the daily explanations of market movements from the mainstream media. They only serve to distract you from what matters. I wrote about this last week in this article- The real reason the markets are down today. Stay focused to win!