Busy, busy, buy with blogging almost non-existent. But I am able to lift my head above water long enough (barely) to offer up five items you might wish to checkout over the next couple of days.
- FT.com has a good interview with John Malone of Liberty Media. Asked if he's optimistic about the economy, Malone says: "No. I think this is going to be a long slog, there's just way too much debt in the west." As you know, I hold the three Liberty Media tracking stocks and count them as a single position in the portfolio.
- Portfolio holding Fairfax Financial (FFH) reported great results this week. From The Globe and Mail: "While not nearly the doomsayer he was before the financial crisis, Mr. Watsa is not about to win any awards for optimism these days. 'Our take is that you have to watch it very carefully because the worry is that in six months, a year, the economy might not recover,' he said." I've sold enough of FFH over time to get my original investment out. It's a free ride for me.
- Peter Brimelow writes on MarketWatch about two newsletters with good long-time track records that are suddenly gone. One because the editor is in poor health, and the other because the editor died at a young age. Sad news on both accounts, and a reminder of putting investing in its proper perspective.
- Even more sad news is that Chris Browne, a great value investor, is stepping down from day-to-day activities at venerable value shop Tweedy Browne because of recent health issues. He apparently has gotten over the hump with regards to the health stuff. We wish him and family the best.
- Amity Shlaes penned a column for Bloomberg this week that gets the hearts of us fringe-cooks who endorse a true you-know-what: "Others advocate a new gold standard, which would make the movement of money more automatic, even to the point of “free banking.” Such a system would have no central government bank. The market, not Washington, would determine the survival or death of financial institutions. It’s not a new idea: George Selgin of West Virginia University wrote a book about how British manufacturers in the early 19th century successfully challenged the Crown for control of their country’s money."
Have a great weekend.