Archive for August, 2007

Quotes Entirely Relevant to Investing 08-12-07

If you hold back anything, I’ll kill ya. If you bend the truth, or I think you’re bending the truth, I’ll kill ya. If you forget anything, I’ll kill ya. In fact, you’re gonna have to work very hard to stay alive Nick. Now, do you understand everything I’ve just said? Cause’ if you don’t, I’ll kill ya!
Rory Breaker in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Past Quotes Entirely Relevant to Investing

Translating Corporate Speak: Video Game Edition

Corporate Speak

Shaking up the highest ranks of the video game industry, Electronic Arts, the world’s largest publisher of video games, said yesterday that it had hired Peter Moore, head of interactive entertainment at Microsoft, to run its large but sluggish sports division.

Microsoft said that Don Mattrick, a longtime game executive who had served as an adviser to the company since February, would take over game operations at Microsoft. Mr. Mattrick had been considered a leading candidate to become chief executive of Electronic Arts before leaving the company last year.


Electronic Arts said yesterday that it appointed Peter Moore to run its large but sluggish sports division. Mr. Moore has extensive experience running large, sluggish organizations. He helped launch the Xbox and Xbox360 products for Microsoft, products which successfully reached millions of people while losing only billions of dollars.

Microsoft said that Don Mattrick would take over game operations at Microsoft. Mr. Mattrick had left Electronic Arts after losing a power struggle and, given his experience at the large, sluggish EA publishing division, can quickly fill the leadership void created by Mr. Moore’s departure.

Translating Corporate Speak: Murray Energy and Bob Murray

Bob Murray, insane person and CEO of Murray Energy, a coal mining firm who owned the mine that collapsed in Utah, trapping six miners, has had a lot to say about the situation.

Corporate speak:

I don’t know if the miners are alive or dead, only the Lord knows that. But it is up to Bob Murray to get them out.
-Bob Murray CEO


I am effing insane. The Lord knows this. These miners are screwed.

Corporate speak:

He also continued to insist that an earthquake, not a “bump,” caused Monday’s collapse. On Tuesday, however, Rafael Abreu, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey National Earthquake Information Center in Colorado, said a 3.9 magnitude event recorded Monday lacked the wave forms characteristic of a naturally occurring earthquake.


But Tuesday afternoon, Richard Stickler, the assistant secretary for the federal Mine Health and Safety Administration, told reporters gathered near the mine that “retreat mining has been done at this operation.”
Salt Lake Tribune article


The Lord knows this was not an earthquake.

Corporate speak:

You see, so-called “global warming” is a human issue to me, not just an environmental one.
-Bob Murray’s testimony before congress at a climate change hearing in March 2007(Link)


A human issue for me, Bob Murray, owner of the 12th largest coal mining company whose entire business is based on digging up coal, which allegedly worsens so-called global warming.

How to Say All Their Money is Gone – Part II

Dear Valued Client:

Last week you received a letter from the head of Long or Short Capital Management, Mr Juggles. In this letter Mr. Juggles told you that although your money was invested wisely according to the prospectus, that money has subsequently disappeared. We wanted to write you to let you know that after further diligence this is 100% accurate. Your money is definitely, definitely gone, for sure.

The feedback we received on the previous letter has revealed that you are unhappy that your money is gone but you were especially upset with our refusal to accept responsibility for your money being gone. Well first we would like to remind all of our valued clients that you shouldn’t point fingers. This is not just your fault, it’s everyone’s fault. Even ours, just to a much lesser degree than it is yours( especially important point for you to take away). We have completed a detailed and rigorous analysis of whose fault it is and thought it was important to share the results:

The chart depicts graphically the small size of our fault. After further study it was determined that all of our market share of the fault stems from one person: Mr. Juggles. As of this morning we have resigned him. Kaiser Edamame, our Germo-Japo restructuring expert and portfolio manager of our anti-union humor portfolio, will take-over for Mr. Juggles effective immediately.

We have also implemented several restructuring measures to ensure that when your money disappears in the future, it is less our fault than it was this time. Starting on August 30th, before we invest in low-yield, illiquid securities with high default risk we promise to “think-twice”. This represents a 100% increase in the amount of thinking we have done in the past. Also, in the case of our most risky investments, before we increase our exposure to them we will now “sleep on it,” something we have not done previously. We feel confident that these measures will significantly increase your returns and hence our fees over time.

Please contact me with any questions.

Johnny Debacle
EVP Long or Short Capital Managment

The Best Email Subject Headline I’ve Read Today

Natexis Bleichroeder is now Natixis Bleichroeder

Thank you Natexis Bleichroeder salesman for letting me know that Groupe Banque Populaire merged some of its operations with some of those at Groupe Caisse d’Epargne to create the new, improved Natixis Bleichroeder. I imagine that one letter change will make a big difference in performance going forward. I don’t remember doing any business or trading with you in the past but I’m sure that will now change.

Investing at the Moment

IM conversations at leading funds:

Analyst: I think that this maker of ball bearings is quite attractive because of its strong operating momentum, $500mm net cash position, and dirt cheap valuation of 6x fully-loaded FCF.
Analyst: They don’t own subprime. Or sell houses. Or sell into housing-related markets. Or have variable rate debt.
Analyst: No
Analyst: They’re buying back 10% of shares outstanding this year.
Analyst is now offline

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