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In Buffett we trust: II

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In this turbulent market, most of my stocks took hits, from China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) to Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI), to Chesepeake Energy (NYSE:CHK), Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO), not to mention the once-high-flyers such as Sohu (Nasdaq:SOHU) and Wuxi Pharma (Nasdaq:WX), both of which I already sold. At the same time, I am happy to see my two shares of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.B) stood calm, and even went up a bit. Why?

(Fox interview David Sokol, Chairman of MidAmerican Energy, a Berkshire Hathaway holding)

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Fannie Freddie and the market

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Short term I think it’s a deal for fed. But long term (it seems nobody is caring about long term these days), why should China continue to buy the Fannie/Freddie debt, for some premium over the US treasuries with substantial mortgage market risk (liquidity). I agree the US treasuries and Fannie/Freddie debt are co-related. It seems the greenback will continue to be a large part of China foreign exchange holdings.

But think a minute, if the United States can not sort out this mortage thing, why should China/Japan mess with it? I think the implication of this mortage crisis will be much greater than many peoeple (convention wisdom) think. The house will NOT always go up. The housing sector and homeownership are good thing, but sometimes too much of a good thing could be a bad thing. I think the people in China state investment Cos. should seriously think about their strategy.

The Market

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Who to blame for current financial crisis?

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Greenspan (regulators): for he kept interest rate too low (1%) for too long, during the recession after dot com bubble.

Bush (politicians): for his failed Iraq war which cost American tax payers more than 500 billions so far. He asked American “go shopping” after 911, in addition to buying a car or a house. Democrats are no better in this aspect: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have deep roots in Democrats leadship.

(Video by LATimes: anxious customers on day 2 of IndyMac Fed takeover)

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Fannie and Freddie crisis, InBev snaps AB

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Fannnie and Freddie crisis
I read Burham’s beat Fannie Mae’s Golden Goose article last Friday, after seeing the dramatic stock actions of FNM and FRE on that day. Following that, I also reviewed Barrons March 11 article, IS this Fannie Mae Toast?

Yeah, it looks like it. The bad thing is, those executives at Fannie and Freddie have made their money, we (tax payers) are bailing them out. So is the US still a free market capitalism country? Seems more like cronyism capitalism to me 🙂

An emotional day in St. Louis
As you may heard from the news, Anheuser Busch accepted the latest cash offer from InBev, and the AB global headquarter in STL will be the North American HQ of combined company Anheuser Busch InBev. Because it’s a cash offer, the current shareholders (Busch family, and Warren Buffett) will NOT have a stake in the new company. Interestingly, this morning I heard from radio Mayor Slay turned 180 degree about the merger, saying “I will work with AB/InBev starting tomorrow, next day, next week, next month…to ensure the success of AB/InBev in the region”.

Hm, what did he say a while earlier (before AB shareholders and board accepted the sweetened offer from $65 to $70 a share). Something like “this merger will destroy the shareholder value, lay off workers in AB, reduce the commitment to community”. All kind of bad things. What a difference $5 can make. Now everybody is happy.