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Is American Express (and financial stocks) still cheap?

Financial stocks had a huge run up from their bottom. Many have doubled and tripled, but are they still cheap? It’s almost impossible to value big financial institutions like Citigroup (C), Bank of America (BAC), or Goldman Sachs (GS) — they’re a lot like hot dogs — you don’t really know what’s inside of them; […]

Audio Interview with Chuck Jaffe at MarketWatch

I had a fun radio/podcast interview today with Chuck Jaffe at MarketWatch (here is a link, my portion of the interview starts on the 10:40 mark), we “played” hold it or fold it with some of the stocks we own: American Express, eBAY, Nokia; stocks I would NOT want to own: GE, Goldman Sachs, Bank […]

AmEx as a Bank Holding Company

AmEx becoming a bank holding company (BHC) is not just net positive for the company it is simply positive. When a highly leveraged investment bank like Goldman Sachs turns into a BHC, its future profitability suffers as its leverage drops to commensurate level of the bank. Lower leverage leads to lower profitability.  AmEx on another […]

Fly, Don’t Buy Airlines or Why Big Banks Make Dumb Loans

If I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that people don’t learn. Recently, I talked to my cousin who is an executive with a Russian airline company. In our discussion he mentioned that his company just received semi-unsecured loans (all planes are leased so they are not used as a collateral) from western banks at 10% […]