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Friday Randoms

By

Have a great weekend Minyans!!

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  • The price action on Big Blue (IBM) feels sickly and the "Block Money Flow" (function GM for the Bloomie types) looks worse.

  • The Iron Horse has been spot on with his analysis of the bond / equity dynamic - particularly as to how the screaming corporate market would fuel a surge of buybacks, and how these buybacks tie into a "strike back" attitude by companies' management . But what if management's "emotions" (or near term self-preservation) are overshadowing the future fundamentals? What if these insiders are just simply wrong on the longer-term prospects for their companies? What if there are a lot more closet Robert Toll out there, obsessing about shorts? Then again, as Brian just pinged me, what if they are right, together with those handing the insiders the cash? Sounds like another "conundrum" to me.

  • More on the bankruptcy bill: my focus here was more on the credit / credit card players. As some Minyans have suggested, the impact of the bankruptcy amendments on foreclosure deficiencies is tough to eyeball because many states have homestead exemptions that allow one to protect his home (villa, palace, castle) in a bankruptcy case; other states have anti-deficiency statutes; others yet, if I recall correctly, have anti-deficiency statutes but only as it pertains to one's home, not investment properties; so there are too many variables to generalize. I am growing more and more convinced that the new law will put a major Boo squeeeeeze on companies such as Asta Funding (ASFI) and Portfolio Recovery Associates (PRAA). The next six months will be interesting in that business.

  • The Tribune (TRB) / McGraw Hill (MHP) pairs trade is over.

  • Except for the usual apathy / inertia displayed on last night's Tivo (TIVO) conference call, today's action smells of towel tossing. What say you Prof. Macke?

  • Be ready for a busy Beeks Tuesday: Retail Sales, NAHB Housing Index, Business Inventories, all wrapped into an option expiration week.

  • There are some reeeaaallly cheap small cap software names out there. . . .and getting cheaper by the minute as a matter of fact.
Position in IBM, PRAA, TIVO
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