A tour guide to our blog part 2
Thanks to the Globe and Mail “Blogs offer tips – and a little humour” article, and the kind follow-up comments on Canadiancapitalist.com, we are getting more traffic than you’d expect on an August Saturday.
That likely means that many of you are first-timers. Thanks for stopping by.
For everyone who is new to the blog, we drew up a “tour guide” back in May when Globe and Mail readers saw fit to vote our site one of the “Top 10 Financial and Market Blogs“. It would take an hour to redo it, and I’d like to watch Charlie Wilson’s War instead, so just click through here to see the September 2006 – May 2008 tour guide. The topics cover a wide range of issues, including Bad Corporate Governance, the Credit Crunch, the Capital Markets, Investment Banking, Technology Happenings, Unregulated Regulators and Other Funny Business, and the Venture Capital Swoon.
To catch-up on the May-August 2008 favs, here are the more popular posts since the first tour guide (popularity citations courtesy of mybloglog, Google Analytics and general feedback):
STOCKS AND BONDAGE
BCE: There was a time, not that long ago, when journalists were analyzing how Teachers’ CEO Jim Leech would hold his spoon at breakfast, in the hopes it would foretell a hint of which way the BCE LBO was going. We spend a bit of time on the topic, too. A 41 part series in fact (“Class Action comes next on BCE” May 25-08, “Spin docs busy at BCE deal central part 2” June 24-08, “Getting to ‘yes’ on BCE” June 24-08).
Lehman: For months, Lehman Brothers (LEH:NYSE) has been smelling a bit ripe, so we took it upon ourselves to pen a letter from Lehman CEO Dick Fuld to Warren Buffet. It seemed not entirely unlikely that Mr. Fund might be calling Mr. Buffet to talk about putting fresh equity into Lehman, and this was meant to replicate the thank you letter that Mr. Fuld would have written Mr. Buffet following their tete-a-tete (“From the desk of Dick Fuld, Lehman Brothers CEO” July 17-08). Over at Seeking Alpha, some readers didn’t realize I was kidding, and wondered how it would be possible that the confidential letter could have leaked to the public. LOL.
Investment Banking: I recognize that i-bankers aren’t going to draw much sympathy from most of you, but this tough stock market is just killing them. As a public service, we put together a three part “I-banker survival guide”. But the first one was by far and away the most popular (“An i-bankers survival guide” July 9-08). And then there was the investment banking Associate who blabbed about his deal “model” right behind me in the Starbucks lineup one morning, going so far as to name the public company he was working on. Stuff you just don’t want to hear (“Attention M&A i-banking Associates” May 15-08).
Research In Motion: Canada’s entire tech industry basks in their glow. Who can’t love this topic? (“Boy Genius: PR genius, but a disclosure nightmare” May 2-08, “GMP Research says: buy the dip on RIM” July 18-08, “Jimmy mustn’t read blogs” July 23-08, “RIM should trade The Boy Genius Report for CBTV” August 4-08).
All things O’Leary: Where to begin? Perhaps the better question is: where to end? I keep trying to avoid this blog series as I am sure none of you care a whit, but the material just keeps on-a-flowing. As I remind my colleagues, “sometimes the blogs just write themselves”. This series epitomizes that phrase (“More subprime fallout at HSBC” March 18-07, “Just sit tight – unless you’ve got the chance to raise capital” January 22-08, “Big week for two big names” May 5-08, “O’Leary Fund promises to share the wealth and wisdom” May 8-08, “No recession in the wine market” May 14-08, “O’Leary ditches his ‘Get Paid While You Wait’ investment cliche” June 1-08, “Kevin O’Leary is a rock star” June 30-08, “A message for Mats” July 5-08, “O’Leary talks up his own book” July 31-08, “O’Leary talks up his own book part 2” August 5-08.) If you don’t have time for all that, just read the one from August 5, 2008.
SCOOPING THE DEAD TREE MEDIA (aka the “DTM”, aka the Newspapers, aka the Main Stream Media)
It shouldn’t matter, but one wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t admit that there are times when it is fun to “break” stuff ourselves (“Bear rumour speaks volumes” March 10-08, “Keep an eye on Apple’s Steve Jobs” June 10-08, “Keep an eye on Apple’s Steve Jobs part 2” June 13-08).
But the pesky rip-off articles would be a burr under anyone’s saddle. On a University campus they use the “P” word and give you and “F”; but in the DTM world, “borrowing” ideas or quotes from blogs without attribution just goes with the territory sometimes (“DTM copycats at it again” February 14-08, “Is imitation truly flattering? part 2” May 30-08, “DTM copycats at it again part 8” June 20-08).
UNREGULATED REGULATORS AND OTHER FUNNY BUSINESS
When I told Globe columnist Noreen Rasbach that individual investors shouldn’t pay any attention to this blog for stock ideas, I meant it. Except when it comes to the theme of investor protection. In that department, I think we’ve “got your back” as our Forces might say in Afganistan (“SEC rumourgate push a waste of time” July 15-08, “SEC fills a hole in the rulebook“, July 16-08, “Cuomo takes action against Citigroup, while ABCP buyers wait in vain” August 2-08 and “Citigroup fined $100MM for ARS, while ABCP fiasco remains untouched” August 7-08).
Business Development Bank of Canada: You’d think that a Conservative government wouldn’t want a Crown Corporation to compete with the private sector for loan business. But, for some reason, the BDC has a hard time following their own Act of Parliament, which requires them to “complement”, and not compete with, private sector lenders (“‘Bruce’ the mindless eating machine” May 31-08, “BDC’s dismal 2008 financial results” July 22-08, “The myth behind BDC’s 4.7% return on equity“).
TECHNOLOGY FOR DUMMIES
With half of our client base being technology companies, we spend a great deal of time pouring over business plans and financial statements of many of Canada’s best tech plays. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that we blog a bit about the space and venture capital in general (“MRI Fund rumors come true” June 11-08, “Ethanol nears death’s door” June 16-08, “The great LSIF myth” July 2-08, “Web 2.0 companies to watch in Canada” July 25-08, “The demise of analog cable” August 13-08).
Enjoy. But do me a small favour. Please don’t stop by again. With each 100,000 new hits, the quality bar just gets raised a notch higher. This blogging stuff is hard work, and we all have day jobs to attend to, families to raise, and golf games to improve.
(disclosure #1: this post, like all blogs, is an Opinion Piece; #2: I own RIM)