2011-09-09 / Columnists

Commentary On Things Present

Warren Buffet Sure Is ... And Famously So!
By Peter Stubben

Mr. Buffet searches out high-pedigree companies – firms that make good products or helpful services that people buy in good times and bad – and he focuses on companies ‘he understands.‘

He buys firms that sell insurance, make loans, rate bonds and also manufacture stuff like cars, shirts and carpeting. In the ‘90s, he was somewhat derided in the investing world – ‘the guy has lost his touch’ – and curiously confusing fellow investors with his unwillingness to invest in high-tech and Internet stocks, even though one of his closest companions (a bridge partner) was Bill Gates, the co-founder and CEO of the ultimate tech firm, The Microsoft Corporation.

Plus, Buffet’s style is against-thegrain. He buys when everybody else sells. Whereas growth and momentum strategies buy with the crowd ... or, as they say, ‘run with the bulls.’ ... value investors like Buffet buy when everybody else sells ... or, as they say, when there’s ‘blood in the streets.’

If Value Investing makes sense for unusually successful stock investing, could it not also make sense for investing in our politicians?

I think so ... don’t you? If you consider your September 13 votes for US Congress and State Assembly as investments ... are you a go-go investor, or a value investor?

Do you wanna invest in a career-candidate, a career-politician, a careerspender of taxpayer money (and from a family of career-spenders of taxpayer money); or a guy who ran his life and raised his family quietly through his own small business ... Bob Turner ... and a guy who never even thought about elective political office until two years ago, when he was so fed up with disaster after disaster down Washington way.

And, for the other elective position do you wanna invest in a nice young man who’s never done nothin’ but serve as a staffer for politicians, the latest being Senator Charles ‘Chuck’ Schumer who gratefully (and gratuitously) hand-selected him for this new ‘opportunity’; or a woman who served the city as a NYC policewoman in the Bronx, in Brooklyn and here in Queens, then raised her three girls, then taught school for a few years ... Jane Deacy ... and who is now so fed up she likewise is running for the Albany Legislature.

Do you wanna run with the big-time spending bulls, or do you seek value and long-term success?

In Brooklyn’s 54th District there is, likewise, a September 13 special election, but there the voters have far, far less choice than we – three Democrats are running, but zero - no - Republicans. And one candidate is the daughter of the sitting US Congressman and the sister of a former Assemblywoman. Sound familiar?

Fed up, you ask? Last Friday’s unemployment report @ 9.1 percent was again awful and abysmal. The Department’s unofficial rate – a tally of Americans unemployed, under-employed and ‘discouraged’ (no longer lookin’) – is much, much worse, approaching depression levels of 20 percent!

That’s why Turner and Deacy are so fed up.

On page 4 of that report, the Labor Department points out that the unemployment rate for college-degreed Americans is 4.6 percent, but for highschoolers it’s double @ 10.2 percent, and for those without a high school degree it’s triple @ 14.2 percent; while in NYC’s school system roughly half of our highschoolers drop out and don’t graduate. That’s why Turner and Deacy are fed up. Plus, in our extraordinarily intensive graduate-degree programs the majority of the science and engineering students are non-Americans.

That’s why Turner and Deacy are fed up, too.

There is no business growth, no productivity boosts, no employment gains; and - WORSE - there is no vision in this administration for business growth, for productivity boosts, for employment gains. Federal agencies like EPA, the Department of Labor, DOJ, FHA would rather sue businesses and banks – a favorite tactic of the liberal-progressives – than do a business ‘work-out’ of the problems at hand. That’s why Turner and Deacy are so fed up.

The official Administration policy of ‘priming the pump’ has flooded the engine!

This year’s deficit is to be $1,650 Billion (or, if you will, $1.65 TRILLION), and the accumulated federal deficit is over $14 trillion. The feds now pay – must pay – more in interest to our bondholders (both here and across the world) than the entire budgets of many federal agencies, including the Department of Health, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Energy, HUD, the Department of Justice, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Labor and the SBA. The house of good fortune no longer smolders, it has begun to burn. That’s why Deacy and Turner are fed up.

Peninsula Prep, a charter school that recently relocated to the old Stella Maris building on Beach 112, inculcates their students with the values of Pride, Perseverance, Achievement, Character and Success, at least thats what it says on Principal Wala’s business card, which is in front of me at this moment. That all makes great sense to me ... for her students, for all of us, and maybe even for our political representatives, no? Character, Achievement, Success, Pride and Perseverance!

If this stuff is good enough for Warren Buffet out there in Omaha, Nebraska, and good enough for Peninsula Prep’s students, maybe it’s a reasonable bar of expectation for our political reps, too. This Tuesday, election day ... go against the grain, invest in your future, our future, the nation’s future and consider adding into your portfolio two long-term value investments: Bob Turner - for US Congress; and Jane Deacy - for State Assembly.

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