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My name is Vivian Lewis. I was born to immigrant German Jewish refugee parents in New York, so I started out as a multilingual baby and won the American Association of Teachers of French prize for high school grads in my year. I went on to study European history, first at Harvard, where I was... More
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agorot limited
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global investing
  • Moral TARPitude 0 comments
    Jun 9, 2009 3:32 PM

        There will be only minimal news for pre-subs today because I was busy with four of my U.S. stocks which have paid back TARP money: JPMorgan-Chase; State St. Bank; BBT; and American Express.

       &nbs... As a shareholder, getting rid of the preferred stock in the hands of Uncle means my eps will rise and I expect dividends will follow.

       &nbs... Repayment also cuts down on heavy-breathing oversight of the banks’ management over everything from executive pay to whom to lend to. And it cuts down on moral TARPitude.

       &nbs... Having lived in France when banks and many industrial firms were nationalized, I am pleased not only as a shareholder, but as a citizen. You do not want a long-term government role in bank or corporate management. The corruption which ensured in France, at firms Mitterrand put into the state sector and sent his buddies to run, was Blagojevichian. This occurred in a developed industrial democratic economy where the state tried to manage established firms with ADRs like Crédit Lyonnais or Elf-Aquitaine. 

       &nbs... There were crooks in the French private sector too, some of whom are currently being tried for looting Vivendi. But management by civil servants and party hacks inexperienced in business or banking, a lack of oversight by shareholders, and the need to serve multiple and conflicting orders from the government bureaucracy led to greater abuses in the companies of  La République.

       &nbs... With the death of Omar Bongo, I am reminded of another purely French factor: blowback from its shenanigans in Africa. But looking at some U.S. adventures in frontier economies is not reassuring.

       &nbs... *Writing in Seeking Alpha, Joshua Hayes was tempted by Vance Info Systems at a p/e of 23 but decided it was too expensive. Its earnings growth this year, he says quoting analysts, will be 12%, not brilliant after its triple digit recent levels. But next year will see a 27% growth rate. He also said that VIT is rate 99 out of 100 by Investor’s Business Daily. We have owned it a while at a lower point of entry of $5.4 thanks to our reporter for China, Fei Chen. But even at 23x this is a great stock. I own 600 shares and I wish I owned more.

       &nbs... *Je ne regrette rien. I looked at the share performance of Biota, Australian developer of the flu squirt which is GSK’s 2nd line of defense, and the stock has collapsed since its ADR was withdrawn, despite GSK royalties. I also looked a Sandvika, Norway-based Renewable Energy Corp, RNWEF.PK which is doing a NOK 4.5 bn capital increase after shutting in over a third of its capacity for want of demand. It is also facing recalls of malfunctional solar junction boxes. I sold in when I was day-trading in the runup to the March stock revival.

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