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Candidates Are Off Course On Picks For Treasury Secretary

Two of the most stupid things I heard last night on the Presidential Candidates debate were the possible picks for Secretary of the Treasury. Sen. McCain said that former EBay (EBAY) Chairwoman Meg Whitman would be a good candidate. Come on give me a break. What does she know about mortgage backed securities and credit default swaps? Whitman would be perfect to set up the auction process or systems for Treasury but does not have the background to manage the Treasury or understanding banking. Then Sen. Obama suggested that Berkshire Hathaway (BRK/A; BRK/B) Chairman Warren Buffett would be a good pick for the Treasury role. Don’t get me wrong. I respect Buffett. He is the greatest investor in the last century if not ever. However, by his own admission he does not understand derivatives and has avoided them at his companies. I would love to have Buffett manage my Social Security money but as Treasury Secretary, no thanks.



Posted By Scott Rothbort at October 8, 2008

Will M&A Activity Pick Up?

Exelon (EXC) is acquiring NRG Energy (NRG). I think this is a good long term deal for EXC but as it is a share for share deal EXC shareholders will feel the arbitrage pinch. Recall that last week Berkshire Hathaway (BRK/A, BRK/B) agreed to acquire Constellation Energy (CEG). Clearly this group is rapidly heading toward consolidation. Merger & Acquisition activity is not dead. Expect more to come as share prices for most industries are depressed versus long term growth rates. The question is - will an Obama Justice Department favor or oppose these deals?

At the time of this Blog entry Scott Rothbort, his family and or clients of LakeView Asset Management, LLC was long shares of EXC --- although positions can change at any time.



Posted By Scott Rothbort at October 20, 2008

Key Corp Likely To Be Sold

Key Corp (KEY) reported a lousy quarter but one that was not the worst case scenario. Sure NPLs and loan loss reserves rose. However, KEY is cleaning itself up for sale. On the conference call management stated that it would apply for $1.1 billion to $3.3 billion in TARP financing. The company also cut costs aggressively. The feeling I get is that KEY is putting itself up for sale with the assistance of the TARP despite its assertion that there is no regulatory or government pressure to consolidate. KEY is trading significantly higher despite reporting a loss today.

I do not believe that KEY will merge with National City (NCC) as was speculated in the cable media this morning. It is more likely that KEY would be bought out by a foreign bank. I am thinking a neighbor to the north like Toronto Dominion (TD) could take on KEY. TD has a penchant for buying regional banks as it did with Commerce Bank.

At the time of this Blog entry Scott Rothbort, his family and or clients of LakeView Asset Management, LLC was long shares of KEY --- although positions can change at any time.



Posted By Scott Rothbort at October 21, 2008

Scott Rothbort

About Me :

SCOTT ROTHBORT

THE FINANCE PROFESSOR

 

Scott Rothbort has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. In 2002, Rothbort founded LakeView Asset Management, LLC, a registered investment advisor based in Millburn, N.J., which offers customized individually managed separate accounts, including proprietary long/short strategies to its high net worth clientele. He also is the founder and manager of the social networking educational website TheFinanceProfessor.com and a frequent contributor the TheStreet.com where he also writes a weekly article as The Finance Professor

Immediately prior to that, Rothbort worked at Merrill Lynch for 10 years, where he was instrumental in building the global equity derivative business and managed the global equity swap business from its inception. Rothbort previously held international assignments in Tokyo, Hong Kong and London while working for Morgan Stanley and County NatWest Securities.

Rothbort holds an MBA in finance and international business from the Stern School of Business of New York University and a BS in economics and accounting from the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Term Professor of Finance and the Chief Market Strategist for the Stillman School of Business of Seton Hall University.

For more information about Scott Rothbort and LakeView Asset Management, LLC, visit the company's Web site at www.lakeviewasset.com.

 


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