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SA Editor Stephen Alpher  

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  • Neutral Tandem's Proxy Fight Could Yield Substantial Value For Shareholders [View article]
    Nice call Thomas ... another in a long line!
    May 1, 2013. 12:50 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Mortgage REITs (MORT) catch the eye of D.C., with the Financial Stability Oversight Council reportedly set to cite the industry as a potential source of market vulnerability. The companies have seen assets quadruple to over $400B since 2009, but Annaly (NLY) CEO Wellington Denahan notes their capital bases have risen as well. A Two Harbors (TWO) presentation (page 8) shows mREITs are relatively small players in the MBS market. Maybe the Fed and the GSEs just don't like the competition. Annaly and American Capital (AGNC) are the 2 biggest mREITs, with Two Harbors a distant 3rd. [View news story]
    From the presentation:

    Commercial banks hold about 38% of all mortgage debt outstanding
    GSEs and the Fed 22%
    Other 8%
    Insurance Cos. 8%
    Credit unions 7%
    Non-bank lenders 5%
    mREITs 3%
    Apr 19, 2013. 09:41 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Déjà vu: Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) buys 4,000 "cheap" mortgage loans at auction in March for around half of the value of their unpaid principal. Why so cheap? Because the loans are "to U.S. borrowers who are having trouble paying them back," according to WSJ. To some, this undoubtedly seems like a case of an investment bank's short memory as RBS' ~£1BN in losses on sub-prime assets during the crisis ultimately precipitated its demise. Time will tell. [View news story]
    Don't understand comparison to 2007. Back then, they levered up to own mortgages at 100 cents on the dollar on wildly overvalued and about to plummet property.

    Now they're better-capitalized and buying mortgages at half price on property that's already collapsed in value. They're also buying from a seller who's being forced to sell for non-economic reasons. Seems like RBS has a pretty fair margin of safety on the deal.

    Whether it works or not remains to be seen, but I doubt it will threaten the bank.
    Apr 17, 2013. 08:02 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wine Arbitrage [View instapost]
    No wine by mail in the "great state" of Pennsylvania :(
    Apr 3, 2013. 02:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • GCVRZ: A Potential 16 Bagger Worth The Risk [View article]
    I noticed in the original piece, you described the timing of the FDA decision as "imminent" in one spot, "soon" in another. As we enter Q2 with no decision, is this a cause for concern? If delays are typical, do they tend to mean good news is coming? Bad?
    Apr 1, 2013. 04:24 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Texas Hold ‘Em Tournaments And Value Investing [View instapost]
    Dan Harrington's books are must-reads as well. The guy looks like someone off to cash in his coupon for $10 in free slot play, but he's an expected-value-calcula... machine. If he ever sits down at a table with me in any endeavor, I'm getting up.

    Jeff Yass (and his partners) started Susquehanna Investment Group with winnings from poker and horse betting. They're grown net worths in the billions (or at least hundreds of millions) by making massive amounts of slightly positive EV bets. SIG job interviews are nothing but being asked a bunch of probability questions. If you make it past the first couple of rounds, it's on to test your chops in poker.
    Apr 1, 2013. 02:10 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Borgata casino (MGM, BYD) in Atlantic City could see a lift after Revel files for bankruptcy. Though Revel expects to maintain normal business operations during the restructuring, a decline in traffic is expected. The bigger issue: The story in Atlantic City remains grim with hurricane-related problems still in play and casinos in neighboring Pennsylvania drawing customers away. [View news story]
    It's not a liquidation. If anything, I would expect the BK filing would be a negative for competitors as Revel has just eliminated a huge chunk of debt.
    Mar 27, 2013. 12:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Gramercy Capital Management Discusses Q4 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript [View article]
    ARCP offers $5.7B for Cole Credit Property Trust
    Mar 20, 2013. 08:03 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Coming Boom In MicroCap Agriculture Stocks [View article]
    Interesting article.

    Re J.G. Boswell ... The King of California - which details the rise of Boswell - is one of the finer books I've ever read

    Re Alico ... the company has been shopping itself for awhile and jumped about 10% over the past couple of sessions after hiring Deutsche to assist.
    Mar 17, 2013. 09:54 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Our Best Investment Idea For 2013: Gramercy Capital, Part II [View article]
    I was curious about the price. $3.2M for 3.5K sq ft? The cap rate must have about 2!

    They just got 1.5% of their market cap for a dinky little building.
    Mar 14, 2013. 12:58 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Our Best Investment Idea For 2013: Gramercy Capital, Part II [View article]

    Mar 14, 2013. 12:39 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • GCVRZ: A Potential 16 Bagger Worth The Risk [View article]
    Sounds mostly good?

    No position, but thanks for the introduction to a securities area I previously paid little attention to.
    Mar 7, 2013. 09:21 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Cable shoots higher after the BOE decision. About 40% of those surveyed expected the bank to boost its QE program after last meeting's minutes and some leading talk from Governor King, but it's Mark Carney's bank now - even if he doesn't start his job until July. Sterling (FXB) +0.3% to $1.5057. [View news story]
    "Many forex traders and commentators also use the traditional term "Cable" to refer to the GBP/USD currency pair. This nickname arose historically from the Trans-Atlantic telegraph cable that was used to transmit the value of that pair's exchange rate from Britain to the United States."
    Mar 7, 2013. 09:12 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More on Dell (DELL): Opposed to the buyout, one of the options Southeastern Asset Management has considered is investing alongside Michael Dell as he takes the company private. Another option: Teaming up with another player to make a higher offer. Separately, among those who showed interest as the board looked for other buyers were H-P and Lenovo. (Earlier: Icahn gets involved) [View news story]
    Actually: "We feel the LBO unfairly values DELL ... and we want in on it."
    Mar 6, 2013. 03:58 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • All 17 bank holding companies subject to Fed stress tests will pass the exam, says Credit Suisse's Moshe Orenbuch (results due Thursday). He thus sees payout ratios for the group rising to 64% of earnings this year from 36% in 2012, with BofA (BAC), Citigroup (C), and Regions Financial (RF) getting the biggest bump. Morgan Stanley (MS) and SunTrust (STI) should also see sizable increases. [View news story]
    Already have the post up in draft. :)
    Mar 6, 2013. 11:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment