2008 Crash

Name Game: “Physical” Retail, Traditional Sales, and Hamburgers

What Do You Call the Opposite of Online Sales? Amazon has marched into every arena of commerce, building moat after moat — logistical, financial, customer service — to keep its rivals from catching up. It expanded into selling its own wares, into physical retail, entertainment and into all manner of home monitoring devices. And it...
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Contrarian Call on a Famous Contrarian: Is Jeremy Grantham’s GMO a Good Bet Now?

From “Reinvesting When Terrified” to Investing Purgatory Investing expert Jeremy Grantham’s market calls have a funny way of being vindicated. In the 1990’s, he was early to sound the alarm about frothy tech and internet stocks. Too early. As a result, Grantham’s money management firm, GMO, hemorrhaged billions in investor withdrawals. What happened next? All the...
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Mr. Krugman, Please Define “Not Necessarily That Big”

Lehman’s “Not So Big” $600,000,000,000(!) Balance Sheet “The 2008 financial crisis itself was centered not on big banks but on “shadow banks” like Lehman Brothers that weren’t necessarily that big.” –Paul Krugman, “Sanders Over the Edge”; The NYT (4/8/2016) No matter what you think of big banks or who caused The 2008 Crash, I think...
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Mistaking Cause & Effect: Warren Buffett and the Role of Panic in The 2008 Crash

[Editor’s Note:  The views expressed here are solely those of Ross Kaplan, and do not represent Edina Realty, Berkshire Hathaway, or any other entity referenced.  Berkshire Hathaway is the ultimate parent company of Edina Realty.] Aficionados of Warren Buffett’s annual missive to shareholders (I’m one) will recall that last year’s included a doozy:  Buffett’s advice...
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The (Rest of the) Michael Burry Story

Punishing the Whistle Blowers “I saw the crisis coming; why didn’t The Federal Reserve?” –Dr. Michael Burry, 2012 UCLA Economics Dept. Commencement Address If you read Michael Lewis’ “The Big Short,” you doubtless remember Michael Burry:  the brilliant, one-eyed medical doctor/investment savant with borderline Asperger’s who predicted — and cashed in on — the looming financial...
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