Friday, October 17, 2008

Warren Is Buying

Buffett wrote an editorial in today's NYT saying that he was buying American stocks, based on his belief that stocks "will almost certainly outperform cash over the next decade, probably by a substantial degree".  For those hiding in cash now, he said that they "have opted for a terrible long-term asset, one that pays virtually nothing and is certain to depreciate in value"

Who could argue with that sentiment but, then again, how does one muster the courage to add to an investment which has depreciated by 40 to 50% in value during the past year, wiping out the slow and steady gains from the start of the last bull market five years ago in a few weeks and returning many blue chip stocks to prices seen over a decade ago, while sending some into the dustbin of history?

Schlumberger (SLB), the largest oil service company, released a good earnings report this morning, but was cautious about the future. MarketWatch  In June, it hit 105 and is now trading at around 55 in the pre-market.  I had bought and sold this one earlier in the year at much higher prices.  I have been intending to add it back, though any purchases now need to be made from cash flow received from interest and dividends or from proceeds of another investment sold.  I am not inclined to dip into cash just yet to buy common stock, but will use it to buy higher yielding investment grade bonds or possibly the ETF for gold stocks upon further declines, which I have never owned.

The 3 month Libor continues to fall a tad each dayMarketWatch

I am going to do some research today on Walgreens (WAG), which has been smashed from its high of 40 a year ago to around 23 now.  I thought that the price was way too high for me until it broke 30 and now it looks like a bargain in the low 20s at less than 10 times next fiscal years earnings estimates.WAG: Analyst Estimates for Walgreen Co. - Yahoo! Finance

I turned off the debate the other night soon after "Joe the Plumber" was mentioned for the 20th or so time, and started to watch the baseball game.  Politicians always try to use a "real" person to make a political point, in an effort to humanize what they want to achieve for reasons that have nothing to do with that person.  The real person is just being used.  McCain's tax plan would primarily benefit individuals making  millions a year or more.An Updated Analysis of the 2008 Presidential Candidates' Tax Plans: Updated September 12, 2008
However, when you are plumbing for votes, you can not convince a plumber or a nurse to vote for you by saying I am going to cut someone's tax by hundreds of thousands of dollars that make more in a year than you will in an entire lifetime.  That is not likely to be a successful appeal so we move into the realm of political allegory with Joe the Plumber who would be making over 200,000 if that  bid bad Obama would leave him alone to realize the American dream.  As it turns out, Joe is a Republican, an unlicensed plumber, who  has at least two unpaid liens, who is an employee of a plumbing company who has had discussions with his boss about possibly buying the company for 250000, which is not the same exactly the same as making 200,000 which he has now acknowledged in an interview with ABC News, and in all probability Joe will benefit from Obama's tax plan even if he purchased the plumbing business. ABC News This is just political farce and a distraction from the reality of who McCain really intends to benefit with his tax plan, and it is not working stiffs like Joe.

  Did anyone notice that neither candidate wanted to answer the question that both of their plans would increase the budget deficit by around 200 billion.  This was the question:" Both of you have said you want to reduce the deficit, but the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget ran the numbers on both of your proposals and they say the cost of your proposals, even with the savings you claim can be made, each will add more than $200 billion to the deficit."

Maureen Dowd had an interesting column yesterday about all of the conservatives who have had disparaging remarks about Sarah's qualification and McCain's judgment in selecting her.Op-Ed Columnist

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