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3 O'Clock High: Short-Attention-Span Theatre


"I took the kids to SawII thinking a Green company must make childrens films..."


Thumping 'em out, fast and furious...

* My week got off to a weird start and is going to have an abbreviated finish; I'm outta here tomorrow morning to attend my buddy, Sean's, nuptuals in Omaha. This will be the first chance the Mrs. and I have had to travel, sans kid, since the birth of Superfly.

You wouldn't believe how excited I am to go to Omaha in November. Unless you are Warren Buffett. He might believe it.

* Adding my two cents to Red's discussion of Social Investing. I once interviewed a Green fund manager on Squawk Box. He was holding a dumptruck full of Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF). I challenged him as to how Lions Gate was "green" in any sense. His take was that "they don't pollute".

My take is that one man's green is another man's distributor of pure sewage. Ok, not so much this man's idea of sewage but, still, I find it hard to argue a sense of social responsibility at a company distributing the Saw film series.

In terms of having a Good or Evil nature, companies should be considered the way one would consider politicians. There are good ones, with noble intent and outright criminals among them, but in the end, they are in the same general, unseemly business. Making money and gathering votes almost require a certain amount of moral compromise.

Pretending otherwise is simply foolish. Investing in "Good" (as in "nice") companies is little more than a marketing concept.

* "Robust top line growth but weak margins".

That's the headline for the coming Holiday selling season for anyone who competes with Wal-Mart (WMT). Again, it's not that I think Wal-Mart is doing anything particularly great. It's just that Wal-Mart is more aggressive, and better, than they were a year ago.

If the gang in Bentonville can nick Target (TGT) (and they have), they are a good bet to shred the rest of the players in the broad "discount & basics" space.

* Blockbuster (BBI) and General Motors (GM) are at their lowest levels ever and in a generation, respectively. Is it too much to hope that these beatings will stop the vicious cycle of the media hyping the positions of "Big Names", leading to smaller investors diving in only to get crushed?

Yes. Yes it is too much to hope for. At least I can pretend to have a plan at BBI. So far all we know from Capt Kirk is that he overpaid and he wants a board seat. Whatever the near term sentiment on GM, the folks who read Business Week and chased GM at 36 are hurting.

* "If you went on TV and told that guy [Mike Holland] that Google (GOOG) was a buy for the second half of the year how come you never bought it for my account?"

Speaking of chasing, I bought a small chunk of Google this week. The thesis was:

  • Is there any stock on Earth more likely to be ramped into the end of the year than Google?
  • Taking a position will get Mrs. JeffMacke to stop asking me that question any and every time the broad topic of "money" comes up in our presence.

Chasing a stock because a magazine tells you to do so is foolish. Chasing a stock to save your marriage and sanity is just smart.

Remember: Life is all about mental flexibility. Have a good weekend, folks! I'll be back full-time for next week (known out here as Todd-O Week).

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Position in Google

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