I agreed to do an article with Forbes Magazine, after challenging the MSM (the mainstream media) to find an investor, lecirquebar.jpganalyst, fund, pundit or talking head who has achieved at least half of my performance for 2008 on a risk adjusted basis. You read that correctly, they didn't have to find someone to beat my performance, nor match it, or even come close to it - all they had to do was get to half of my performance. I made the challenge to several contacts as well as all publicly. I said that I will give them a day on the "MotherLand" with their wife, family, friends and/or significant others - complete with a Captain for the day - if they can find such a person, or entity. If they cannot, then I wanted a feature article in return. The reporter from Forbes said he admired my moxy (and, of course, couldn't find anyone that would have qualified him for that day on the MotherLand), so we agreed to sit down for an interview at the fashionable LeCirque restuarant on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

I arrived a few minutes early, so decided to kill time by sipping on some imported Manhattan tap water as I reviewed my emails. I had just recently agreed to revisit my findings on Alexander's REIT, which had taken a back seat to GGP (GGP and the type of investigative analysis you will not get from your brokerage house,) and MAC (Macerich Forensic analysis: Undervalued REIT or the Commercial Real Estate Bankruptcy) during my previous REIT ventures. So, as I sit there sipping on my Upper East Side import tap, one of my analysts sends me their initial findings in ALX due diligence, and lo and behold, the very building that I was sitting in was owned by ALX and they were charging WAAYYY above market rents to companies reeling and pulling back from the financial crisis in NYC. I said to myself, "Hey, I think we may be onto something here!" (apparently, I was right - see

February REIT Actionable Intelligence Note Update
). For the record, business was brisk in Le Circque that day, as well as in Milos a few weeks earlier where I met the same reporter. These are pretty much the highest of the high end restaurants in the city and once you start to see weakness there, you know that the very high end has been hit hard, for pretenses must be kept!

So this eventually led to the story from Forbes Magazine excerpted below.

Going Short: Reggie Middleton got real estate and financials right. Now he's shorting stocks.

Seated at a window table at New York's fashionable Le Cirque
restaurant, investor and financial blogger Reggie C. Middleton is very
much on duty. He's thinking about the next company he'll sell short to
capitalize on the financial meltdown.

"How about the landlord of this building?" he asks while nibbling at a plate of rabbit and mustard sauce.

It's a typical Middleton call. Alexander's Inc. looks financially
stout with $500 million in cash and the 64-story Bloomberg tower on
Manhattan's Upper East Side, which Le Cirque is in. But a closer look
reveals Alexander's is a big owner of New Jersey retail properties that
are likely to suffer as consumers cut back on spending. Middleton says
he began shorting Alexander's stock in January when it was above $200.
Recent price: $141. Middleton says he plans to short the stock all the
way down to $104.

"They're not going bankrupt, but their properties are overpriced," he says with clinical detachment.

Such straight talk is a Middleton trademark. He recently issued scathing reports on JPMorgan Chase and European financials like Markel, a reinsurer that has the equivalent of 130% of its equity in risky financial securities, Prudential PLC, a British insurer; and Banco Valencia, a Spanish bank with heavy exposure to residential real estate.

"You're going to hear the word insolvent a lot," he says.

Middleton has company in profiting by shorting financial stocks
lately. But few shorts have been as vocal, or as prescient, as the
Howard University graduate and self-taught stock-picker. Middleton, 41,
started his BoomBustBlog in September 2007 and four months later
declared Bear Stearns to be "in a fight for its life" at a time the
investment bank's shares were trading above $90. On April 1 of last
year he ridiculed regulators for blaming Lehman's problems on
rumor-mongering short-sellers.

"I can solve this mystery," Middleton wrote with typical braggadocio. "The source of the rumors is Lehman's balance sheet."

...

"He's a very colorful character who has over time gotten to know a
lot of people in the industry," says Robert Weiss, a securities lawyer
with Katten Muchin Rosenman who has advised Middleton.

A Long Island native whose voice bears the slightest trace of his
father's distinctive Gullah accent, Middleton got a brokerage license
in the early 1990s but spent most of the decade selling insurance and
cooking up complex financial ventures. One that fizzled would have
involved securitizing employee health benefit obligations.

During a stint as a stay-home dad, Middleton began investing in
Brooklyn real estate. He developed a knack for predicting where
gentrification would strike next, scooping up residential buildings for
as little as $300,000 and selling them for four or five times as much.

"One of his talents was being able to see something in properties
that others didn't," says Philip Lavender, a Brooklyn attorney who
recalls Middleton coming into his office in dirty overalls to talk
through complex real estate deals.

Middleton became a seller in 2004 when he saw others buying rental
properties at prices that only made sense by assuming greater fools
would come along and pay even more.

...

Middleton's first focus was home builders. In a November 2007 post
titled "Voodoo, Zombies, Lennar's Off Balance Sheet Accounting and
Other Things of Mystery & Myth," he described the company as
"borderline insolvent," with $5.5 billion in off-balance-sheet debt and
real estate inventory carried above market values. Lennar shares, then
trading around $20, are now below $7 (Apparently touchy about
criticism, the company is suing convicted felon turned fraud analyst
Barry Minkow for allegedly spreading rumors that it engaged in
accounting irregularities. "As a convicted felon, I don't worry about
silly civil suits," Minkow says).

Middleton's magnum opus was an exhaustive report on General Growth Properties
in January 2008 when the largest U.S. mall operator was trading at
around $40 a share. Middleton and his analysts assembled individual
cash-flow projections for some 260 properties and concluded that GGP
would have difficulty paying or refinancing its $24 billion in debt.
The report apparently rattled GGP executives, who issued a press
release the same month attacking "inaccurate statements and
irresponsible suggestions" in "the press and blogs" that it might
default or file for bankruptcy. General Growth shares now trade at 42
cents, and the company is struggling to stay out of Chapter 11.

The GGP work led Middleton to the banks that were financing
over-leveraged borrowers. He accurately diagnosed problems at Bear
Stearns and Lehman and went on to predict precipitous declines at
insurers like Hartford Financial and Prudential Financial months before their stocks tanked. He even shorted ham processor Smithfield Foods
after deciding it hadn't assessed the impact of shrinking margins and
rising commodities prices. The stock has fallen from $30 in mid-2008 to
around $7.

"I followed the bouncing ball everywhere it went," Middleton says.
"Every time it stopped at an industry or sector, I analyzed it and
shorted it."

Now Middleton is looking overseas at companies like Markel and HSBC,
which he says has large undiscounted exposure to the deteriorating
Asian market. At the same time, he's still hammering away on U.S.
targets like JPMorgan Chase, whose non-performing assets exceed
tangible equity, according to his own calculations.

JPMorgan reports those assets at 20% of tangible equity. The bank
declined to comment on Middleton's analysis through a spokeswoman (Of course!).

...

He also claims his record since the tech bust proves he's no trick pony. "I could just be lucky, but lucky nine years in a row isn't bad," he
says. "And lucky money spends just as well as any other money."

Published in BoomBustBlog
Monday, 23 February 2009 23:00

Who has the most valuable blogs?

A reader sent me this very interesting article. After reading through it I have decided to post link. I would put BoomBustBlog somewhere around mid-point in the list, but if one were to take into consideration my business model (pure digital commerce, with no advertising or physical inventory) which is much more sturdy than the advertising model (ask all of the bankrupt media companies about the veracity of that assumption) and the fact that I am increasingly influential in my analysis, I believe that we can move BoomBustBlog farther up the ladder.


I also think that Calculated Risk and Mish's site should rank somewhere in the list as well. The only blog that I know of that has a similar model to mine is Nouriel Roubini's RGE Monitor, which is venture capital driven and a much larger operation (not to mention having the first of the rock star economists as an owner). I will probably grow the blog into a larger business, thus buildout considerably more bleeding edge interactive and community features. For those who have not really taken a good stroll through the site. I suggest you browser through the many community features that I have already implemented .


From 24/7 Wall St.com: The Twenty Five Most Valuable Blogs


It is extremely difficult to put accurate financial values on blogs. Almost all of them are private companies. Some do raise VC money and those sums can be used as guidelines if and when they are disclosed. Like many content businesses, the only worthwhile value is what an acquirer will pay. At least two blogs from last year’s 24/7 Wall St. list were sold—Ars Technica and PaidContent., both very near the valuations we gave them. This year’s list does not include blogs which are part of larger companies because the traffic of these properties is almost never broken out. Blogs which are used as fronts for other businesses have also been excluded. Blogs that do not have revenue are also excluded. For instance, “The Daily Beast”, a large news commentary site, does not take advertising or sell products. In theory, it has little if any economic value at all.


Because of the depressed economy, 24/7 Wall St. has brought down the multiples that it assigned to blog revenue and operating profits, when there are any, by about 50% from last year. Large public companies have been writing down the value of media and content assets over the last several quarters and private content site values have certainly suffered from the same drop in value. The prices being paid for online media and is almost certainly dropping sharply. Perhaps most importantly, shares of most of the large media companies are off by a half to two-thirds from their 52-week highs.


To determine value, 24/7 Wall St. looked at unique visitor and pageviews information from several public sources including Alexa, Quantcast, Compete, and comScore. These services are often criticized for estimating website traffic too low and we have taken that into account to the extent possible. We also looked at audience measurements provided by the blogs themselves when it seemed credible. Our estimated CPMs for ads are based on the current display and text ad environment, the quality of ads at each blog, and the number of ads that it runs on the average pages. The CPM value assigned to each blog is based on all of the ads it runs on its typical pages. To determine margins, 24/7 looked at headcount when available, and estimated costs of operating and maintaining websites. More complex content platforms where assigned higher monthly costs. Current audience growth rates were taken into account. A site which has traffic doubling year-over-year was given a higher multiple than one which is losing traffic. Because not all blogs make money, multiples of revenue and operating income were used to assess value.


Large blogs with big “moats” got higher multiple that smaller ones. Recreating Huffington Post or TechCrunch would be extremely difficult, especially in a recession. Blogs with one founder who does most of the writing were given lower multiple because the presence of that single person is essential to the company’s value. Finally, blogs which have been operating for a long time or have recently received funding received higher valuations because they are more likely to survive.


Number 8 on their list is surprisingly not very far away from my very small, accidental operation - at least according to the authors.


8. SeekingAlpha. This aggregator of investing blogs and news has almost 900,000 unique visitors according to comScore. Compete puts that number at about 1.5 million. Since Comscore tends to underestimate audience numbers, the higher figures is more likely to be accurate. Because of the content and site navigation, SeekingAlpha should have 15 million pageviews a month. The site runs a reasonable amount of network ads that have low yields, but has some financial services ads from investing companies including discount brokers which would bring CPMs up. The yield on a thousand pages for SeekingAlpha should be about $10. Revenue is probably running about $2.2 million a year. Based on the number of editors and writers that the company has and looking at the cost of it publishing platform, SeekingAlpha probably cost about $3.5 million to run. It is a potentially valuable property for one of the large financial sites. Seeking Alpha is worth about five times revenue or $11 million.

More on this topic:

  1. A change is gonna' come

  2. Continuing the conversation of the future of main stream media..,


  3. The Future of Main Stream Media, pt 3

  4. Sometimes, to grow, you must stick to your core competencies

  5. Time Warner and the MSM pt. 4

  6. Has the Web and the Blogosphere ushered in the Death of Radio?

  7. A Direct Challenge to the Mainstream Media (MSM)

Published in BoomBustBlog

I welcome all registered users to meet me at the Algonquin for the 5th BoomBustBlog financial networking and brainstorming event. I will be there to welcome all BoomBustBloggers as well as answer very "limited" questions on my research perspective, and will have some hard copies of the premium professional research available - including any fresh, new and unpublished material that may be ready at the time of the event. Shortly after this I will hold my conference call for institutional subscribers to discuss my macro view on the market and my research subjects.

Those who have attended any of my events before know that they are fun and educational. See pics from our past events...

BoomBustBlog Boat Ride 2.0, on my boat, the MotherLand!: Click these links for the story behind these BoomBustBlog social events and to see higher resoltution pictures and graphics.

Feel free to click the picture to get a larger, clearer version.

BoomBustBloggers at Buddakahn in NYC's trendy Meatpacking District.

buddhakahn2.jpg

Register and RSVP for the event by scrolling to the bottom of the page here: BoomBustBlog Networking - Trading Reggie's Research. Space is limited, so an RSVP/registration is a must.

Published in BoomBustBlog

In penning A few grim thoughts for the New Year, as I reflect upon the past year, I seriously thought this year would be significantly more challenging than last year. After all, by now EVERYONE should have gotten the memo - we are in a dire economic downturn and real asset and financial asset wielding companies that relied on short term funding and/or excessive leverage are pretty much done for. Now, theoretically, we will have to do a lot more work for a lot less return, right? Well, obviously not. Apparently, there are still many out there who didn't get the memo. Roughly 80% of the researched and blogged subjects that bore a negative opinion have significantly outpaced the S&P 500 to the downside since the beginning of the year. By the end of the 2nd quarter, the I am confident that the remaining 20% will drop pass the broad market as well. Paying subscribers should realize that this group is relatively diverse in that includes UK and Eurozone companies as well as banks, consumer retail, real estate and insurers. Most of the manufacturing and industrial picks from the last two quarters have lost considerably more than 50% of their share value.

Click graphic to enlarge to print size

1st_two_months_2009_recent_research_performance.gif


I implore you to keep this in perspective. If you were long the S&P via an index fund, you would have lost significant wealth. If you were in an actively managed fund or with a sell side broker, chances are you may have lost even more (see Super Brokers form to push Super Broken products to make those with High Net Worth Super Broke). If you were in cash you would have preserved your wealth, and relative to those invested in the broad market or through the sell side, would have been that much wealthier. Now, if you were a BoomBustBlogger, you could literally consider yourself to be a member of the capitalist class - at least from an "in the know" perspective. I know it's early in the year, but it appears as if we are on track to beat last year's competition trouncing invest performance (see BoomBustBlog performance for 2008).

News from around the globe>

The Dow industrials broke to a new six-year low. The
average of the nation's 30 biggest companies has lost 47% of its value
since its record close 16 months ago.

Published in BoomBustBlog

Shaun has fulfilled his pledge of posting his personal research on SPG to the discussion forum. Registered users should click here to access it. Those who are not registered can subscribe for free here. I urge all to participate with as much feedback an input as possible. The more you contribute, the more you get back in return.

Published in BoomBustBlog

Before reading the following article excerpts, I want to point out a few things that I am in absolutely no way ashamed of (for those that follow me regularly and have this list memorized, please bear with me, I'm trying to make a point):

  1. My investment performance for 2008, 335% for my prop account, 106% for the blog (think Reggie Middleton, prodigious blogger and entrepreneurial global macro/micro investor)
  2. My prognostication that Bear Stearn's would fail (in full detail) 3 months before they failed in " Bear Fight - A most bearish view on Bear Stearns in a bear market " and the follow-up piece and seminal "Is this the Breaking of the Bear" (think Alan Schwartz, former C.E.O. of Bear Stearns)
  3. My prognostication that Lehman would fail 5 months before they failed (think C.E.O. Dick Fuld of Lehman Brothers), see Is Lehman really a lemming in disguise? and Lehman, the lying lemon lemming anecdotal timeline?
  4. My prognostication that General Growth Properties (the nation's 2nd largest REIT) would fail (in explicit detail) 1 year before they failed (think Bernie Freibaum, former CFO of GGP), see GGP and the type of investigative analysis you will not get from your brokerage house and pay special attention to "My Response to the GGP Press Release, which seems to respond to blogs..." and "For those who were wondering what sparked that silly press release from GGP..." for the blow by blog on the company's CFO actually trying to disparage lil' ole innocent me and paint me as incompetant and out for no good. Take particular not of the date of the release and the comments made, then reference the stock chart and the recent news clips warning of bankruptcy.
  5. My warnings on insolvency of MBIA, see A Super Scary Halloween Tale of 104 Basis Points Pt I & II, by Reggie Middleton
  6. My warnings on the insolvency of AMBAC, see Ambac is Effectively Insolvent & Will See More than $8 Billion of Losses with Just a $2.26 Billion and Follow up to the Ambac Analysis and Download a "Window" into Ambac's Problems.
  7. Countrywide and Washington Mutual's early signs of insolvency, see Yeah, Countrywide is pretty bad, but it ain't the only one at the subprime party... Comparing Countrywide to its peers
  8. My many warnings on the Doo Doo 32 regional banks and the insurance industry (a collapse or two to happen very soon in company near YOU! See icon Hartford Insurance Group Forensic Analysis - Pro (619.29 kB 2008-11-22 06:30:43), icon HIG Actionable Item (189.75 kB 2008-11-22 06:32:24), icon HIG Actionable Intelligence Update 8-12-08 (49.96 kB 2008-12-08 08:54:33), icon Hartford Insurance Group spreads and counterparty/debt holders - pro (149 kB 2008-11-22 06:31:47), and icon Principal Financial Group Actionable Intelligence Note - Pro version (252.74 kB 2009-01-15 11:18:50) and As I Continue My Analysis of Global Insurers.(thus far the failures have effectively been limited to AIG and arguabley Ambac and MBIA, but give it time).
  9. I can go on, but its 2 am and I need to get enough sleep to be cheerful when my daughter comes to wake me up in 4 hours, but hopefully you feel the flow that I am trying to convey...

Every now and then I look at comments about me and my work and every now and then there is always someone screaming "Short seller scum of the world" or some similar absurd nonsense. There is still a significant contingent that can't come to grips with the blatant fact that there are a lot of inefficient companies, insolvent companies, and some downright fraudulent companies that are running around masquerading as stock market darlings turned victims of short sellers and a rough economy. When the bull market was in full effect, there was no similar "hating of the hater" for those who profited from going long - and lord knows there was a fair share of pump and dump going on.

Look at the list above, cross reference the dates of the opinionated articles and research with a graph of each companies' share price and tell me, do you really think this was just luck?

Or was I using my blog to manipulate share prices (and at the same time forcing all of the trash, excess leverage, on their balance sheet as well as faulty business models to be perceived as,,,, Well,,,, trash, excess leverage, on their balance sheet and faulty business models!

Okay, let's move on to the excerpt from this piece in Conde Nast's Portfolio.com:

In the view of many C.E.O.'s, short-sellers do more than just profit from corporate misfortune; they inflame it. C.E.O. Dick Fuld of Lehman Brothers and Alan Schwartz, former C.E.O. of Bear Stearns, [Hey, didn't I blog and research their companies in the link list above?] in their own recent appearances before congressional panels, blamed rumormongers and short-­sellers for the demise of their firms [Hmmm!!! Rumors such as "I have a bunch of underwater assets leveraged to the hilt on my balance sheet", or "we are facing a hell of a liquidity crisi because we financed risky long term assets with fickle short term debt", or "that Reggie guy is a damn pain in the ass!" Rumors like those???].

"The shorts and rumormongers succeeded in bringing down Bear Stearns," Fuld ­asserted. "And I believe that unsubstantiated rumors in the marketplace caused significant harm to Lehman Brothers." [Yeah, okay!] Schwartz gave similar testimony when he appeared before the Senate Banking Committee in April, saying that there was a run on the bank despite a "capital cushion well above what was required to meet regulatory standards." He testified that "market forces continued to drive and accelerate our precipitous liquidity decline." Banking Committee chairman Christopher Dodd chimed in that "this goes beyond rumors. This is about collusion."[Keep this term, accusation, and concept of "collusion" at the forefront of you thoughts as you read on, my dear followers]

But was it? Chanos, for one, is tired of the blame-the-shorts litany, and he recalls a conversation with Bear Stearns’ Schwartz to make his point.

The day before the Fed’s rescue of Bear Stearns, Chanos says he was walking to the Post House restaurant in New York City, when, at 6:15 p.m., his cell phone rang. He saw the Bear Stearns exchange come up on his caller I.D. and took the call.

“Jim, hi, it’s Alan Schwartz.”

“Hi, Alan.”

“Well, Jim [I'm not calling that rat bastard Blogger Reggie Middleton because the less people know about him, the better], we really appreciate your business and your staying with us. I’d like you to think about going on CNBC tomorrow morning, on Squawk Box, and telling everybody you still are a client, you have money on deposit, and everything’s fine.”

“Alan, how do I know everything’s fine? Is everything fine?”

“Jim [F#ck, that was swift of him, did that damn rat bastard blogger Reggie guy get it him first!], we’re going to report record earnings on Monday morning.” 

“Alan, you just made me an insider. I didn’t ask for that information, and I don’t think that’s going to be relevant anyway. Based on what I understand, people are reducing their margin balances with you, and that’s resulting in a funding squeeze.”

“Well, yes, to some extent, but we should be fine.” [Okay, that's it. I'm banning all of those F#@%ing blogs from all of the computers at Bear Stearns for the 24 hours that I anticipate remaining a going concern!]

“This is now 6:15 on Thursday night, the night before the collapse,” Chanos says. “It was after a meeting with Molinaro”—Bear Stearns C.F.O. Sam Molinaro—“who basically told him at that meeting, ‘We’re done. We’re gone. We need money overnight we don’t have.’  So here he is, calling one of his biggest clients to go on CNBC the next morning to say everything’s fine when clearly it’s not. And he knew it wasn’t.” [Nawwwww!!! Get the hell outta here! Seriously????! I am shocked! Absolutely flabbergasted! I mean, really dude... I feel irreparably bamboozled!!!]

Chanos refused to go on CNBC [smart move, my friend!]. By 6:30 the next morning, word was out that the Fed was engineering the rescue of Bear Stearns. Chanos realized that he could have been on CNBC while that was ­announced. “I thought, That fucker was going to throw me under the bus no matter what.” [You know, if I wasn't so naive, I may - no, I just might, get the impression that the CEOs of the companies that I have covered and blogged about may have colluded with each other, and others in the media and business/finance circles to make things appear just a TAD bit rosier than they really were. That is, if I wasn't so naive. Then again, if I wasn't so naive, I would have believed that that rat bastard blogger guy Reggie just might be a pretty valuable counterbalance for the propagandized, accountant engineered (this is the new financial engineering, if you haven't got the memo!) disfigured trash often disguised as corporate reporting and corporate communications, and often disseminated though the MSM (the mainstream media). That's, of course, if I wasn't so naive...]

“So here it is,” Chanos says. “Alan Schwartz takes the position ‘Short-sellers were our problem,’ and who did he try to get to vouch for him on the morning of the collapse? The largest short-seller in the world. You want to talk about ethics and who’s telling the truth on these things? It’s unbelievable.” [Hey, you should have talked to me my friend. I could have told you they were lying about their financial situation months before your converstaion, reference the links above. I'm shocked you even left your accounts in there that long! It wouldn't have been me.]

Schwartz, not surprisingly, has a different version of events [Now, there's a damn surprise if I ever hear of one!]. “I did not make the statements attributed to me by Mr. Chanos,” he says through a spokesperson. According to someone who has spoken to Schwartz, the ex-C.E.O.’s side of the story is that the conversation took place on Wednesday, not Thursday, and that it was entirely different from what was related by Chanos. His contentions are that the call was an effort to obtain a public statement from Chanos that “a group of short-sellers out there are trying to take Bear Stearns down” and that no information on Bear’s financial strength was conveyed to Chanos. [Yeah, okay...]

Published in BoomBustBlog
Wednesday, 28 January 2009 19:00

For Squash Fans and Blog Fans of All Flavors

BoomBustBlogger Squashnut has graciously donated a box seat and associate sponsorship to the World Squash Tournament of Champions at Grand Central Station in NYC for yours truly to show his appreciation for the work performed on the blog. I definitely do appreciate it, and thank you. We had a good time with some good food, talking to some interesting people. For those not familiar with the event, the grand finale is tomorrow night, Thursday at about 6 pm. There's a lot of financial folk mulling around. Take a look-see at who's sponsoring the event...

squash_court.jpg

I was wondering if anybody read my opinon piece on them... Re: JP Morgan, when I say insolvent, I really mean insolvent.

www.tocsquash.com
"Celebrating the World's Best Squash in Grand Central Terminal"

squash_board.jpg

Check out the ad that Sqashnut ran. Flattering, indeed.

squash_ad.jpg

He is one of many BoomBustBloggers who have a very inspiring story to tell about how real research and a real straightforward investment personality made a significant difference in his standard of living.

Published in BoomBustBlog

I received the following question from a reader and thought that I would anonomously share it with the blog:

Reggie,

I have been reading your blog for many months now and am very impressed with your analysis and commentary.

I am thinking about subscribing to gain access to the actionable information.

What I need to know is how much detail is provided about how to actually take action on the data provided.

Will taking advantage of the information require that I be well versed in puts, calls and margin trading?

Thanks,
Blog reader and prospective paid subscriber.

___________________

My response:

Thanks for the complimentary words. What is well versed for one investor may be elementary for another - it is a rather subjective question. As stated in the last actionable post regarding JPM, all you really need is to take small incremental positions in the subject company and hold on until the valuation band is reached or until the investment thesis behind the position is proved wrong - whichever comes first. You will not always make money, but the key is to make money more often than you lose money.

I have created a book club (which I never finished populating, but will get to this year) which has books that detail all of the skills you need to take advantage of the research. The key is to read, discern, absorb, and learn. There is no shortcut, and you must be able to sort through the trash, but once you find a valuable nugget of info, you must be able to quickly internalize it and put it to use.

Keep in mind that this blog is now a full fledged community, and any subscriber can and should feel free to ask any relevant question through the comments section and/or the discussion boards. Remember, there is no such thing as a dumb question, only the only dumb action is not to ask the question when you know you are in doubt or don't know.

Sorry I couldn't give you a straight forward answer, but I would rather try and give you the truth than attempt to sell you a subscription. Cheers, and good luck.

Published in BoomBustBlog

I posted this response in the comments column
of a Wall Street Journal article this morning concerning Morgan
Stanley's downgrading of HSBC bank, the track record of Wall Street
banks in general, and the damage done the net worth of the wealthy. If
you have the time (and are not a reguler reader of the blog), it is
well worth your while to read through the links provided. The challenge
inherent in the statement stands for anybody in mainstream media who
feel they can produce anyone who can come close to even 75% of my
performance. My 3,000 or so subscribers (including Wall Street banks,
large central banks, etc.) seem to think more of boutique blog services
than the mainstream media does.

Published in BoomBustBlog

I came across an interesting site today (Eat, Sleep, Publish) in my quest to see what business models others are using for pay-for-content blogs since my little blogging experiment is starting to get a bit more involving than I ever anticipated. I was shocked to find so little info on the topic, implying how difficult it is for media concerns to actually charge for content (see my ramblings on this topic below). I found the aforementioned blog to be interesting, so decided to see what his Google Page Rankwas in order to see how popular the site is. While I was there, I decided to see where I stood in the scheme of things, and I must admit I was pleasantly surprised at the results. BoomBustBlog has a page ranking of 6 (out of a possible 10). That puts me in the very top echelon of blogging sites, despite the fact this blog is not even a year and a half old yet and the fact that I charge for premium content.


I feel compelled to say thank you to all of the regular visitors and contributors who made this possible. Below is a Google Page Rank chart of some of the most respected and well trafficked blogs and sites on the Internet.

Blog Name Category Google Page Rank Primary Revenue Model Comments
Google Portal site (Web's top 100 trafficked sites) 10 Search driven ad model
Yahoo Portal site (Web's top 100 trafficked sites) 9 Search driven ad model, Banner ads
Arianna Huffington's Huffington Post Political commentary (Web's top 100 trafficked sites) 8 Banner ads
Barry Ritholz's The Big Picture Macro-economic analysis and commentary 7 Banner ads Moved from central blogging platform, thus may have reduced rank
Seeking Alpha Financial commentary aggregation portal 7 Banner ads
Nouriel Roubini's RGE Monitor Macro-economic analysis and commentary, global macro news and analysis aggregation
7 Banner ads, subscriptions (institutional rates, ex 4 or 5 digits and up), has free content
Reggie Middleton's (that devlishly handsome fellow!) BoomBustBlog.com Fundamental and forensic corporate analysis, financial and macro-economic analysis and commentary 6 Subscriptions only (institutional rates, ex. 4 or 5 digits and up), has free content
Moved from central blogging platform, thus may have reduced rank
Calculated Risk Macro-economic analysis and commentary 6 Banner ads Moved from central blogging platform, thus may have reduced rank
Mish's Global Economic Analysis Macro-economic analysis and commentary 6 Banner ads
Yves' Naked Capitalism Financial and macro-economic analysis and commentary 4 Banner ads

The chart above is definitely not an exhaustive listing of the quality blogs, just an anecdotal sampling of some of the widely followed or well known blogs (and mine tooCool). What this should tell readers is that the online media magazine/newspaper is without a doubt the way of the future. As newsprint companies are going out of business, some blogs are thriving, and making money to boot. I feel good about the progress of the blog, since it was never intended to be a commercial venture, but stumbled upon revenue by mistake (as I am sure at least a few of the blogs mentioned above were as well). BoomBustBlog is also the youngest of the blogs by far, and as my readers probably can attest to, the spiciest and most cynical as well.

Again, I humbly say "Thank you" for all of your support. More on my musings on old vs. new media:

  1. A change is gonna' come
  2. Continuing the conversation of the future of main stream media..,
  3. The Future of Main Stream Media, pt 3
  4. Sometimes, to grow, you must stick to your core competencies
  5. Time Warner and the MSM pt. 4
  6. Has the Web and the Blogosphere ushered in the Death of Radio?
Published in BoomBustBlog