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  • Why I Just Sold Berkshire Hathaway  [View article]
    I do not think selling Berkshire is as bad an idea as many of the commenters have expressed although I like several of the strategic alternatives mentioned. I have been thinking of selling some of my Berkshire as well for several reasons; the dividend issue being one of the reasons but the other is the drop in price that I expect to occur when Warren Buffet has a health issue - much less if he were to leave us.

    Will the stock be less valuable without Warren? Well I believe there is a "Warren Premium" - but it is a great collection of companies period. But the market psychology will push the stock price down and I think it will take a while to climb back up as his two CIOs have, at this writing, not had the time to build their respective reputations.
    Nov 13, 2014. 01:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • NYT: BofA blinks in DOJ settlement talks  [View news story]
    Bill - I agree with you that CW was a BAC self-inflicted wound brought about by Ken Lewis and his Board.

    As to CountryWide and bankruptcy - I would like to hear Mr. Moynihan and his legal team address why or why not this was a viable strategy. And if a viable strategy - why they opted not to take it.
    Jul 31, 2014. 02:38 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • NYT: BofA blinks in DOJ settlement talks  [View news story]
    Dear funfun,

    Why do you throw stones at Mr. Moynihan and never mention Ken Lewis? Mr. Lewis's own employees were concerned about his designs on CountryWide and in fact - his ego driven acquisition spree. I had friends who were on several of the acquisition due diligence teams - so I had an insider's account after-the-fact.

    Mr. Moynihan was not even in the decision making picture - so he was never mentioned. I think you twist facts to suit your own rhetoric or just need to revisit the time line of BAC management.

    You are correct that the fines paid out by BAC hurt as I am a long time stock holder. That money rightly belonged to stockholders. So why does that give you such I told-you-so joy?
    Jul 31, 2014. 10:47 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Supreme Court Seems Ready To Time-Bar Financial-Crisis Litigation For Bank Of America, Others  [View article]
    Hopefully a sane legal ruling finally on the time frame. Two comments and two questions:

    Comment 1: I concur with the thesis that all parties are guilty: our government created and encouraged the mortgage playing field; home buyers went after what they could not afford; and some in the banking world took advantage.

    Comment 2: BAC was created via acquisition of multiple companies - each with their own management. When those of you rant and rave about the corrupt BAC management - don't you realize it's not even the same people and those such as Countrywide mangement - truly crooks - were not even properly punished?

    Q1: How is it fair or even legal to continually rob - and I mean rob - shareholders to pay for the government's mistakes and those who took out loans they knew they could not cover without a wing and a prayer? Yes fine the banks - but stop the on-going money grab from shareholders and find your needed PR elsewhere.

    Q2: Someone ask it here and I have ask from day 1: Why did BAC not spin-off Countrywide into a "bad" bank? This appears to be a very tactical mistake. 
    Jun 18, 2014. 08:38 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Moynihan optimistic on NII going forward  [View news story]
    I remain agog that BAC can be held liable for billions while the CountryWide master minds of the fraud (my take on their actions) have not been held truly accountable. How can one party be so guilty and the others not.
    No I'm not naive - it's just not rational thinking.
    Dec 10, 2013. 11:46 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A potential new legal front is opened against the banks as the U.S. sues Bank of America (BAC), seeking at least $1B in damages for allegedly misrepresenting the quality of home loans it (through its Countrywide unit) sold to Fannie and Freddie.  [View news story]
    After the citizens of the US sue Freddie and Fannie - including all its management for the last 10 years - for fraud, abuse of power, self-serving conflicting interest, theft, complicity, racketeering, and a few more - then maybe they've got a leg to stand on in suing B of A.
    It takes some brass as Bill Clinton recently said......
    Oct 24, 2012. 03:19 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Does Pandit's departure from Citigroup mean bank boards are beginning to take their responsibilities seriously? If so, Bank of America CEO Moynihan could be next. Moynihan inherited a mess (like Pandit), but has been unable to convince investors he has a strategy for getting out of it. Of even more import is the rebuilding of BAC's brand as a leading consumer bank.  [View news story]
    Agree with Jeffreychood and RalphSchauss in that Moynihan has made strides - some very visible and others you just have to look more closely to see.
    Investors are nervous about BAC because there was just so much toxic waste at CountryWide that no one is quite sure it's completely under control. As an investor, I literally gag at the money wasted and still wonder why CountryWide executives did not go to prison. It sure looked like fraud to me.

    Will agree that the true strategy has not yet appeared - but this company is reinventing itself so a pivot or two is to be expected.
    Oct 16, 2012. 09:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • After Ex-CFO, Board Member Leave, Bank Of America Finds New Controversial Directors  [View article]
    I am a female and I find this article to be a bit ridiculous and sounding a tad bit ignorant of business in general. First - you would be hard pressed to find any company today that is "clean" by the writers apparent definition; lawsuits fly and accusations get made in the ordinary course of business these days. And they get publicized many times before the facts are even knonw. The article, as another writer pointed out, is disparaging the board members based on actions taken against their former companies.
    Second - what he did not even mention is that this group of board members are a diverse group with real experience in dealing with difficult issues. As a stock holder that is the type person I want on the board where I invest.
    Sep 24, 2012. 09:21 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • One longtime Berkshire (BRK.B) owner suggests big cuts in the company's consumer name holdings means a passing of the torch is nearer as the capital could be getting allocated to new PMs Todd Combs and Ted Weschler. A nice theory says, Martin Sosnoff, but he believes Buffett could be loading the elephant gun for another major acquisition a la Burlington Northern.  [View news story]
    We can "guess" all we want about what the portfolio moves mean but will most likely still be surprised at the ultimate move. Part of the fun of watching Mr. Buffet and company.
    Aug 16, 2012. 06:14 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Days before BofA (BAC) shareholders approved the bank's $50B Merrill Lynch purchase, bank execs were told Merrill's losses would hit the combined companies' earnings for years, but chose not to share this info with shareholders. Court documents filed yesterday shed new light on the disconnect, and will likely put more pressure on federal officials to hold key execs accountable for their crisis-era (in)actions.   [View news story]
    The BAC-Merrill deal is a complex issue of which we may never know the full extent of who said what, who knew what when, etc.
    As a long-term shareholder and a prior employee I was very negatively impacted financially - but I agree with those who have commented that rehashing the past and piling on with more lawsuits is not solving the issues of today.
    I'm no fan of Ken Lewis - I found him arrogant and an isolationist - but we were not in his shoes when the powers that be saw another depression on the horizon. Bad judgment by executives is not illegal as of yet.
    Jun 4, 2012. 09:04 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buy American Capital For Diversification  [View article]
    I would appreciate very much if you would please explain why you think the best way to value AGNC is book value. Others who have written about AGNC have made the same statement and I don't see it. The market has shown that it can easily ignore book value as a measue of "real" value - especially where the assets are not physical assets.

    Book value for this stock means nothing if the dividends dry up and the stock is trading at a price lower than book - especially if you bought at a premium to book.

    (No access to spellcheck button - so apologies if there are errors.)
    May 10, 2012. 04:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why American Capital Agency Should Be A Core Holding In Your Retirement Portfolio (Part 2)  [View article]
    The company comments on how well they do at picking the underlying assets - but what leeway do they actually have? As the fear surrounding these assets has subsided - more investors of all sizes are interested in acquiring these mortgages. How does AGNC compete against a UBS, Goldman or other large institution for the best of the assets? My real concern with all of the mReits - will they hold true to their guidelines on the assets they pick if the supply dwindles?
    May 8, 2012. 03:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why American Capital Agency Should Be A Core Holding In Your Retirement Portfolio (Part 2)  [View article]
    The article is full of good information - so thank you. I will note that it's not the past that will make this a good investment if you are currently sitting on the sidelines and considering investment - but your expectations about the furture direction of interest rates, prepayments, foreclosures, etc.

    I suggest that you add as a 4th bullet and thus a 4th article a bit about the key factors impacting this investment looking out over the next several years and how you might analyze the impact of those factors on your investment based on a probability matrix.
    May 7, 2012. 11:04 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • BofA (BAC) is reportedly in early stage talks with lawyers representing more than 1,000 former Merrill Lynch brokers over a settlement that could cost the bank hundreds of millions of dollars. The brokers, who left the firm after BofA's 2009 takeover, claim they're owed deferred compensation.   [View news story]
    Actually Countrywide has been the downfall of BAC - Merrill Lynch not so much Yes BAC overpaid for it and possibly lied to the stockholders but the Countrywide acq. has caused BAC stockholders billions.
    May 6, 2012. 08:37 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Portfolio For Older Boomers  [View article]
    Joe - Why REM vs. MORT and would you invest at this point in time (Maya 2012) given all the commentary on the reduction in dividends, etc.?
    May 5, 2012. 11:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment