Does Anyone Read These Things?

Here I explain precisely how good the poor USD is to them. And here I point out just how fantastic GE’s asset sales have been. Just imagine if GE possessed FGIC and Genworth still. The former is in deep trouble. Regular readers will also know that I sign up to the GE press-release blog that you shall find here. But when I am long a stock I usually look at what’s wrong with the story plot. Indeed the central investment trap I get into is to disregard the positives in my shorts and ignore the negatives in my own long.

This post is a mindful effort to improve that. The acquisitions in medical have a head-scratching personality – as Jeff Matthews points out here. The home media business is nearly great either. The real estate business in GE commercial finance (discussed at some length below). If it is US domestic powered it is bad.

If it something China needs, where in fact the competitor is European and where GE produces the most thermally efficient product it is stunningly good. There are many illustrations in GE. If it is a corporate finance driven its not bad to the best of my knowledge but I am still left scratching my mind about items of it. THEREFORE I get a puzzled as of this news release little.

125 million guaranteed by some undisclosed resources to finance (of all things) the employee stock ownership plan. My interpretation – GE is funding the leave by the existing management of part of their keeping – purchased by personnel. But first let me digress into good-and-bad corporate and business fund businesses at GE and elsewhere. A long time ago (that is just a couple of years ago), Xerox used to market plenty of copiers to small businesses. Their once-grand marque have been superseded by the Japanese. There is no particular reason to buy a Xerox copier over a Fuji or a Ricoh or Cannon or any of a few brands.

Xerox had substandard technology in color and had shaped a joint venture with Fuji (Fuji-Xerox) to market that stuff. This is a variety of Fuji technology and Xerox distribution mostly. This all appeared to work very well. The copiers were sold by salesmen with maintenance agreements – that have been really finance agreements.

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The sales kept up with something reasonable and the stock was pretty strong. The problem was that the substandard technology and price proposition were being masked by an excellent sales proposition led by credit. A large number of customers (small businesses and the like) shopped with Xerox because they did not have the finance to buy from another supplier. To tell this as a trader, you probably had a need to get your fingers dirty and research the business well.

It was not easy. However the problem series was a vintage – with minor problems in the financing business leading to a tightening of credit criteria and a lack of sales. The stock down arrived crashing. 5 in a matter of months wiping out a decade of good (but in retrospect dodgy) gains.

It is iconic in investing that you need to be very worried of any production business which offers inferior technology to inferior credits supported by its financing business. Some would also say the Lucent backing of One-Tel (a bankrupt Australian mobile phone company) was the same sort of arrangement. Suppose the merchandise is able to be repossessed and resold and because you have the best distribution system you have the best ability of one to repossess it.