Monday, February 8, 2010

2/8/10 Midday Report: Debt crisis forces EU to pull Super Bowl ad, can only afford to broadcast it on new 24 hour Michael Bolton Hip Hop Channel

The market opened down again before bouncing back a bit as people are more worried about Europe's debt problems than they are about global warming, health care spending, and that thing on Drew Brees' face.  The President of the EU's Central Bank, Jean Claude Trichet (and it must be pointed out that his name is an anagram for "tend rich ejaculate," which is exactly what he is doing by tending to the crisis caused by an overspending splooge filled orgy by the already rich European bankers), is steadfast that Europe's debt problems are not an issue and budgets can be cut but he has as much sway on how Europe's countries operate as James Polk did over the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (Shout out to Nicholas Trist. Word word).  The point is Monsieur Trichet can recommend whatever he wants and can publicly fellate Greece/Portugal/the whole Iberian Peninsula until he is blue in the face (pun completely intended), but it will likely come down to the countries of the EU acting in unison to bail out a country (or several) which are irrelevant to them.  The EU is the ultimate free rider system for small countries like Greece to continually take risks since there are no real political repercussions as the rest of the EU has exactly zero votes in any Greek election or Greek policy.  So when Monsieur Trichet said over the weekend when being asked questions about Greece: "I doubt that, in a press conference, Ben Bernanke would have a question on Alaska or Massachusetts," that was a completely bogus, non-sensical, and irrelevant remark because Bernanke/the US Federal Government could absolutely fuck with Alaska or Massachusetts while all the EU can really do to Greece is tell them their kabobs were a little dry and to "maybe not suck so much at  managing your budet."  Any other line of action could potentially lead to a complete disbanding of the EU and that would be about as helpful to the global economy as Mr. Horton was helpul to Arnold and Dudley in picking out bikes in that very special Diff'rent Strokes.  The problem is that the EU may simply prove to be pareto inefficient, like lesbian porn where somehow adding a money shot would make everyone better off.

In US news, a flurry of blue chip upgrades are keeping the market from continuing it's sell-off.  Google was upgraded by Merrill Lynch/BAC (from hereon out to be known as "at least we're not Rodman Renshaw"), as the analyst cited their cheap valuation based on the metric he decided to use which would support that cheap valuation (mutiple of cash flow less cash).  Of course all the analyst had to do was point out GOOG's recent jizztastic quarter (and for those of you not down with the lingo, there are very few things that are better than jizztastic), the fact that they are down 10% since then, and say "They're fucking Google dipshits."   The other big upgrade was Home Dept being added to Morgan Stanley's best ideas list.  This caused Money McBags to also update his best idea list to now include a threesome with Hanna Hilton and Jessica Biel, lobster newburgh, and the light bulb.  Disney was also upgraded to neutral by Morgan Stanley due to an improving economic outlook and CIT hired a worldclass rain maker in John Thain to take over the company as it climbs out of bankruptcy.  Now Money McBags loves to deride CEOs for their bad decisions and big egos, but he is a fan of Mr. Thain who was able to actually get something for Merrill Lynch in selling it to BAC as the market was free-falling like Scott Lee Cohen's political career.  Thain is a terrific choice for the potentially undervalued CIT and this company deserves a new look by investors.

Interestingly, companies have been performing well this quarter with more than 73% of S&P 500 companies that have reported, beating analysts’ estimates which is the 2nd highest percentage since Bloomberg began tracking the data in 1993.  Of course, the market rose in anticipation of this since the market is more forward looking than Roman Polanski's dating rolodex (and seriously, if you don't get that one e-mail me at and I'll explain it).  So we're now at an important inflection point with Europe potentially imploding, the US maybe getting on solid footing, and jobs still harder to come by than an original or funny Jay Leno monologue.

In small cap news today, an analyst from Robert Baird (and if you've never heard of Robert Baird, don't worry, neither has Mrs. Baird) upgraded Winnebago from underperform to neutral based on "valuation."  Now Money McBags finds nothing more convincing than a valuation upgrade of a company who HAS NO EARNINGS and is not going have any earnings for 2010 and maybe even 2011.  That is awesome, really.  If Money McBags were to guess what the analyst based his valuation on, he would guess the number of shots of tequila that analyst had last night to dull the pain he feels for having to work at Robert Baird and not a sell side shop that people have heard of before.  After upgrading WGO, the analyst was seen climbing into his Edsel and heading to his home on Three Mile Island while eating a packet of pop rocks and chugging a coca cola. Now look, Money Mcbags does not have the report and does not know what Baird's price target for WGO is, but if it is anything above $8, it is way too much.  This was Money McBags' analysis of WGO from 2 months ago, and while his short call has worked about as well as the brakes on a Toyota Prius, he stands by that call like WGO stands by their losses.

Oh yeah, one more thing.  Money McBags preemptively signed up for twitter at this account He has no idea if he will ever use it, but it is there.

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