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Business News Update

In this update we've got musings about the Yahoo-Microsoft kerfuffle, the Dow Jones Industrial Average's two new players and the companies they'll replace, and the well-deserved jail term for sleazebag plaintiffs' securities lawyer Bill Lerach. Click the below link to read more.

Grifter Democrat Attorney Lerach Sentenced to Two Years in Federal Prison

William Lerach, a former partner at a well-known plaintiffs' securities law firm, and a major Democrat donor, was sentenced Monday to two years in federal prison for his role in a lucrative kickback scheme involving class-action lawsuits against some of the nation's biggest corporations.

Ah, yes, Bill "Pond Scum" Lerach. Truly one of the worst examples of sheer greed this side of John Edwards. Lerach is a miscreant who over the past three decades cost our economy countless jobs by filing shakedown lawsuits against corporate America and by supporting liberal Democrats with money and political muscle.

Good riddance.

Here's a link to the AP's version of events.

Dow Adds Bank of America and Chevron; drops Altria and Honeywell

Here's a link to the AP's report. My thoughts, FWTW, are below:

Bank of America: Not quite cheap enough to purchase, as are Citigroup and Washington Mutual. B of A is a great company, however. Diversified. Risk averse. Well managed. Fairly nice dividend yield. There's a lot to like and not much at all to dislike. If its share price came down somewhat, then it would become an obvious buy target.

Chevron: Definitely not cheap enough to purchase. A great company, however. One of the first of the big oil players to look for non-traditional areas of development. Vertically integrated. Well managed. A major investor in alternative and renewable energy sources.

* * *
Altria: Arguably the greatest value investing success story of the past generation. When the Lemmings of Wall St. went into panic mode over litigation risks, Altria became so preposterously cheap it simply *had* to be purchased. Terrific product line. Massive brand recognition and loyalty. Simply put: The Marlboro of consumer product companies. No longer anywhere near cheap enough to purchase, but, damn, what a feather in the cap for the Graham-Dodd-Hawkins-Whitman investment model.

Honeywell: Not nearly cheap enough to purchase. Nice company, however. It would have been quite interesting to see what would have happened if its acquisition by GE had not been blocked by the EU. Great product line. Well managed. I've always preferred United Technologies, on diversification grounds, but having said that there's a lot to like about Honeywell too.

Yahoo-Microsoft

As expected Yahoo's Board rejected Microsoft's unsolicited takeover bid. Negotiation tactics 101. They're simply trying to increase the value of the bid for the benefit of their shareholders. Perhaps also trying to spur the intervention of a proverbial white knight.

It'll be interesting to see just how much money Microsoft is willing to pay for the right (burden?) to take on Google on (relatively) even terms. In the final analysis, however, it's almost certain Microsoft eventually will be deemed to have overpaid (if the acquisition goes through) or to have defeated its own causes (if it doesn't go through).


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