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George Acs  

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  • A Fink Speaks The Truth [View article]
    You can start your list by going to http://bit.ly/1zxsHUq and seeing the leaders for buybacks in the past quarter and then look at their share prices in the past quarter.
    Apr 19, 2015. 10:25 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Fink Speaks The Truth [View article]
    Those little throwaway drawings in the margins were great. Sergio Aragones used to do those. They were sort of like the "Easter Eggs" hidden in video games, only a lot easier to find.

    Fink's comments come at a time when many stocks are at all time highs or at long term highs. I think Fink was distinguishing between buy backs that are gratuitous versus those that are in recognition of value.

    Just as you say "Buying shares at all time highs seems like a waste."

    If that's the case, then we can agree that there's a lot of waste going on in efforts to appease.
    Apr 19, 2015. 10:11 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Fink Speaks The Truth [View article]
    Absolutely so, but how often do you see companies stepping in when their share price is under siege or at the low end?

    The bottom line is that it's much easier to spend other people's money especially when you don't have to think about value received in return.
    Apr 19, 2015. 09:21 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Fink Speaks The Truth [View article]
    I think lots of kids aspired to be an Ed Roth kind of artist. The early days of Mad Magazine were in his style.
    Apr 19, 2015. 09:18 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Fink Speaks The Truth [View article]
    There's a lot to be said for lowbrow humor. There's something universal about those things that make you laugh without requiring a means test.
    Apr 19, 2015. 09:12 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A Fink Speaks The Truth [View article]
    That was pretty funny. Where can I find the other two versions of your comment?
    Apr 19, 2015. 07:52 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Fink Speaks The Truth [View article]
    Which reminds me to stop wasting your time.

    Why couldn't you have put that sentence at the beginning of your comment?

    Actually, I encourage jokes about my last name. When people acs me how to pronounce it I tell them I really don't care, just as long as they don't pronounce the "c" as an "s"
    Apr 19, 2015. 07:51 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A Fink Speaks The Truth [View article]
    In the US dividends are not exempted from taxes, neither on the corporate side nor the personal side, unless the shares are held in a tax deferred account, but even then, those taxes are just deferred and not eliminated.

    I'm not certain how buybacks are treated, but I suppose that they're a legitimate expense. However, as with any deductible expense, it's far better to avoid the expense, if possible and still have 70% remaining after paying the 30% tax, than to incur the expense and to have only 30% remain.
    Apr 19, 2015. 07:48 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Fink Speaks The Truth [View article]
    In more than 30 years of membership, Europe has been the only place where I've not used my AMEX exclusively, as it's not the most readily accepted of cards overseas. Even some of the advantages of its use in the US, such as with car rentals, may not extend overseas. Besides, those 3% transaction fees can add up and there are alternatives cards to avoid that added expense.
    Apr 19, 2015. 07:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Fink Speaks The Truth [View article]
    I think you're right in that the US offers excellent, perhaps the best customer service. However, that doesn't preclude a diminution in service from being possible or from occurring.

    While purely anecdotal, I found it fascinating that my wife and I independently and unknown to each other had very negative experiences with AMEX customer service after having had a flawless cumulative 65 years of experience with them, particularly since we are both fairly low maintenance kind of people.

    The variation in the quality of the experiences was so palpable to each of us. My wife told me about hers at dinner and I stared at her in disbelief and the told her that I had a similar experience just a couple of days earlier.

    She actually went through no fewer than 14 customer service reps over the course of a few days and repeatedly was told that there was no record of her having made contact regarding a particular issue. In addition, call back numbers were never answered and never had any messaging capabilities.

    Her requests to escalate or to speak with a supervisor were consistently met with "I'm sorry there is no supervisor available."

    That's very un-American Express like.

    I finally posted something on Twitter and a rep reached out to me and I got them in touch with one another to resolve the issue. But going "public" isn't the way you want to get customer service accomplished, although the cost savings may be worth the occasional aggravation of trying to put out public airing of grievances.
    Apr 19, 2015. 07:39 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Fink Speaks The Truth [View article]
    I'm not certain of what that means or the logic behind it.

    I don't think Larry Fink has a reputation for short term trading. I also think that real analysts and investors would much prefer to see companies trade on fundamentals or on growth prospects, rather than on manipulated and apples to oranges EPS data.

    There's nothing really wrong about paying or receiving a dividend. Traditionally, companies that paid dividends performed better over the long term. Not because they paid the dividend, but because they had the financial wherewithal to pay the dividend. Typically that came from investing in and growing the business, first and foremost.

    Now, you're seeing dividends and buybacks being used as a means to effect short term share appreciation and increasingly at the expense of being able to invest cash flow into future growth.
    Apr 18, 2015. 05:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Fink Speaks The Truth [View article]
    Thank you.

    I agree with those sentiments about buybacks, especially at these levels. It's all optics, but if you're going to engage in them, at least you could have done so in 2008 prices or when a company's stock could really use the vote of confidence.
    Apr 18, 2015. 05:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Fink Speaks The Truth [View article]
    In the Harvard Medical School dormitory, some 40 years ago, the basement storeroom had things like extra mattresses, Harvard University chairs and other items you could take for your room.

    Once we went down there and in one corner was a huge stack of neatly bundled copies of Playboy and Mad Magazine. That was long before any one really thought of them as collector's items or having any real value.

    Had I had the brains or the courage to practice a little larceny back then I'd be very satisfied on at least 2 fronts.
    Apr 18, 2015. 02:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Fink Speaks The Truth [View article]
    When I was in high school, a "super senior" was someone ho went to the school from 9th to 12th grades, whereas most attended from 10th to 12th.

    Times change, I suppose. It's been 43 years since my own high school graduation, but I'm not certain what the working definition of "super senior" is in this context.

    Although it is possible that I just don't remember.
    Apr 18, 2015. 02:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Fink Speaks The Truth [View article]
    Even at historically low rates, there is something, that to me, at least, seems inherently wrong about debt issuance in order to buy back shares or to pay a dividend. Even if the interest is low there's still the principal and the principle.
    Apr 18, 2015. 02:02 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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