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Tuesday's Business News

Abu Dhabi

This right here is a story that would intrigue any red-blooded investment and business junkie:

Citigroup. Money. A gigantic equity buyout fund. High-yielding convertibles. Buying low, planning to sell high.

Ah, yes, capitalism and value investing at its finest.

This article from AP is quite agenda-driven, but it's about the best you can find in the liberal financial media on the topic. It's worth a perusal.

This article from Bloomberg is somewhat better on the agenda front, and far more detailed, although it's melodramatic.

BTW, it's good to know someone out there is a sentient, professional investor. Citigroup is so obviously a good buy at these depressed levels it's not even open for debate.

Law + Order

The U.S. Supreme Court will rule on a legal challenge to a nanny state law from Maine that regulates cigarette sales and deliveries.

The law already was ruled invalid by a federal trial judge and a federal appeals court. The Supreme Court almost certainly will affirm and thereby snuff out that law. Here's a link to a decent enough AP article on the subject.

They can have my Marlboro when they pry it from my cold dead hands....

Civil War

Speaking of business news and of the Supreme Court, here's a link to a good article -- especially by AP standards -- with no agenda, and no bias, on a dispute that would warm the heart of any 1-L law professor:

Two states. One river. One plot of land. A century-old land grant. Supreme Court procedure. A potential tie vote. Modern technology. Energy. Liquefied natural gas. Jobs. National security. The threat of potential terrorism.

Yep, that case pretty much has it all.

As they say, read the whole thing.


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Comments (6)

Holy Global Warming Batman!... (Below threshold)
Rory:

Holy Global Warming Batman!

Liberal hero-Justice Stephen Bryer according to the last link-

Justice Stephen Breyer is not taking part in the case. He owns $15,000 to $50,000 in BP stock, according to his most recent financial disclosure.

That's B.P. as in British PETROLEUM.

Why are liberals always such complete Hippie-crits!?

Citigroup is so obvio... (Below threshold)

Citigroup is so obviously a good buy at these depressed levels it's not even open for debate.

I could only wish, but not so fast....these guys are not known as the oracles of Abu Dhabi, or for that matter, oracles of anywhere.

There is a serious game of poker going on here and HSBC raised the stakes yesterday by putting a lot of SIV debt on their balance sheet. Citi has for weeks been touting the Super SIV Fund and meanwhile a competitor (HSBC) says, in effect, they will be the "house" in this game, no Super SIV Fund required. Hmm?

So we have a foreign bank booking the liabilities on their balance sheets and two BIG domestic banks (Citi and Countrywide) selling equity....and, I almost forgot...several large domestic banks writing off assets as fast as they can.

There may be the appearance of a lot of ME buying low at this point, but it may also turn out that Citi is buying nothing but time. As any good banker knows, banks never run out of money, but they occasionally run out of time.

Well, BP has a series of co... (Below threshold)

Well, BP has a series of commercials designed to enhance their image with environmentalists and other simpletons, featuring idiots asking stupid questions. It's completely annoying. Now, if they were more direct in their responses . . .

"Well, doh, I wonder why nobody's thinking about alternative energy sources, doh, 'cause we're running out of oil, doh, y'know."

"What do you think we've been doing the last forty years, dumbass? If the public schools hadn't kept turning out dullards like yourself, we'd have solved it years ago."

Now, THAT would be a commercial campaign I could support.

OTOH, the chances of any case at law being correctly and justly decided only increase when Mr. Justice Breyer isn't participating.

btw, purely for SCOTUS trivia nuts, did you know Breyer didn't HAVE to recuse himself, despite the evident conflict? Each Justice decides for himself when not to participate - there is no appeal, and no one can overrule their decision.

Well they may be from the M... (Below threshold)
Rory:

Well they may be from the Middle East (and CNBC can spin that fear factor crapola all day long) but bet you dollars to nuts they wear educated at the London School of Economics- no less.

I don't think they'd go all in on a crap shoot of an idea....

Listen it's not like these banks will go to zero like the dot-com stocks.

Ya there are crappy mortgages out there but they are secured with land, actual physical property.

Land being a limited quantity never will zero out.

Also it's a good damn idea for the Emirates and other Arab countries to broaden their economic base and be less dependent on oil. Ironic but it is a two way street.

Jim-you said:... (Below threshold)
Rory:

Jim-

you said:

did you know Breyer didn't HAVE to recuse himself, despite the evident conflict? Each Justice decides for himself when not to participate - there is no appeal, and no one can overrule their decision.

You know what-I did not know that-interesting.

Cripes-do you think he will recuse himself from some "enviromental" decisions?

Heh.

I doubt it-but if he were Scalia with stock in Texaco forget about it...

The Code Greenos would be burning their bras on the Supreme Court steps and the flag...

{Talk about your bio hazard...}

Rory ~ Agreed: Citi can't ... (Below threshold)

Rory ~ Agreed: Citi can't go to zero, and probably is severely undervalued right now, although HughS' point is also quite valid (and no doubt has contributed to the shellacking they've been taking).

Another problem they face with the sub-prime mortgages is the effect of "self-fulfilling prophecies." When they and Countrywide and other lenders begin offering generous re-fi packages or other alternatives to foreclosure to these borrowers, and Congress makes noise about "helping them out," the borrowers become far more likely to default. By defaulting, they could end up with better terms than if they keep up their payments!

The result is that the actual number of defaulting loans is likely to be far more than the number which was regarded as "crisis level" a few months ago - precisely and only because of the offered "solutions." In essence, once these banks found themselves in holes, they contracted backhoes to dig deeper.




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Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

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