The Myth Of The Mainstream Media

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It seems almost every reporter, anchor, radio host or ‘influencer’ out there likes to point out they are giving you information that ‘the mainstream 413 x 239.pages copymedia won’t report on.”   Sometimes it’s information the mainstream media “wouldn’t dare report on.”

I would offer that if you are trying to interpret the media landscape today, remove the notion of the mainstream media from your thinking because it doesn’t exist anymore.

The modifier mainstream implied wide distribution and consumption, which meant influence, which meant power.  While the venerable New York Times has a circulation of ~2 million (1.4 million digital only subscriptions and 600,000 print subscriptions), a big number, it cannot compete with even second tier social networks (i.e. not Facebook). Reddit, for instance, has ~540 million visitors per month.  Tumblr has a (disputed) 300 million monthly visitors. read more

Investor Relations:  The Long Conversation

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If a stock shows a significant positive change in revenues or earnings with an attendant rise in the price, do you believe portfolio managers will be moved to buy it?

Conversely, if there were a significant negative change in earnings or revenues, would they short or sell it?clock-1425684-1279x1705

Chances are the portfolio manager would not buy or sell.  They would observe, they would take in the new data points, but that might be it.

Remember, a managed fund portfolio might have 50 to 100 positions.  Some have even fewer.  The point is, adding and subtracting positions is the most carefully considered activity a portfolio manager undertakes.  It is, in fact, exactly what they are paid for.  As a result it’s unlikely they will make a change based on a singular data point. read more

The Spouting Whale Gets Harpooned

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With his high profile arrest and perp walk this morning, Martin Shkreli has a massive public relations problem on his hands.  As the photo demonstrates, the full force of the law is lined up against him.Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 10.32.34 PM

Mr. Shkreli is the hedge fund manager turned pharmaceutical entrepreneur who provoked outrage when his Turing Pharmaceuticals increased the price of cancer and AIDS drug Daraprim by 5000%

I would offer his current problem with the media has its roots in a poor public relations strategy right out of the gate.   Sometimes blunting exposure is more important than gaining exposure.  Better to lay low and gauge sentiment than arrive on the scene with guns blazing.  His 5000% price increase might have ultimately faded from view if he stayed out of the spotlight.  And what he learned from the reaction of a smaller more manageable audience might have given him clues how to manage a larger national audience. read more

Pfizer: Representation Without Taxation

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413 x 239.pages copyInversion sure is the right word for the Allergan/Pfizer deal.  Because what got the colonists lathered up enough to fight a war against the one global super power at the time was taxation without representation.

Somehow that idea got turned on its head, and now one of the largest drug companies in America wants the representation the United States has to offer without the commensurate taxation (all this, mind you, from a voter registered as Republican).

From a shareholder perspective, it’s easy to connect the dots.  Lower taxes means higher earnings, and higher earnings means a higher stock price, and presto, shareholder value has been increased.  What else would anyone expect the senior leadership and board to do? read more

FANG Today, Toothless Tomorrow?

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FANG stands for Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google.

The term, emblazoned on the front page of yesterday’s edition of USA TODAY, was popularized by CNBC’s Jim Cramer.

Some think the FANG clan is unstoppable, and looking at the trajectory of technology and commerce at this moment, it’s hard to see the dominance of these companies ever waning.

But many may remember the portmanteau Wintel as well, which referred to the total dominance maintained by Windows (as a proxy for Microsoft) and Intel.

Wintel had meaning inside the tech industry, but in the early 1990s among investors it represented the duopoly that was a ‘must have’ in any growth oriented portfolio. read more