Be greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy.
— Warren Buffett

☞ And when they are not particularly either? When – as now, and most of the time – they are sort of in the middle? Well, then, I guess: Be patient.

(This is not, I will admit, the world’s most helpful advice. Okay, so maybe buy 50 shares of Sony – SNE – now that it’s been marked down to $24.75 from $59.95 in under a year?)



David Morrison: ‘The only commonly used English word with no vowels is NTH.’

Monna Wier: Puzzlemaster Will Shortz, who presents puzzles to listeners on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday, last week mentioned CRWTH. It’s a Celtic instrument. The use of the ‘w’ as a vowel, he says, is Welch.’



Don Epstein: ‘I was late for work Tuesday because I was reading every word in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Minneapolis Star Tribune about the Wall Street scandals. Most of it was not new information – okay, the research people sold their integrity to obtain higher investment banking fees for their respective banks. We’ve known that for months.

‘But in Tuesday’s Market Place column on the front page of the Times Business Section, there was this:

‘In a newly disclosed tactic, Morgan Stanley and four other brokerage firms paid rivals that agreed to publish positive reports on companies whose shares Morgan and others issued to the public. This practice made it appear that a throng of believers were recommending these companies’ shares.

‘From 1999 through 2001, for example, Morgan Stanley paid about $2.7 million to approximately 25 other investment banks for these so-called research guarantees, regulators said. Nevertheless, the firm boasted in its annual report to shareholders that it had come through investigations of analyst conflicts of interest with its “reputation for integrity” maintained.

‘Among the firms receiving payments for their bullish research on companies whose offerings they did not manage were UBS Warburg and U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray. UBS received $213,000 and Piper Jaffray, more than $1.8 million.”

‘It’s been a while since I practiced law . . . but doesn’t this take these scandals to a whole new level? Doesn’t this mean there was a ‘conspiracy’ among these banks to defraud the public? I am just floored that this new development is not an enormous news story tonight.’

☞ Morgan Stanley used to have the best name on the street (and seem to think they still do). But many of us have long argued you’d be better off in index funds or, if you trade stocks directly, reading Barron’s or Forbes and investing via a deep discount broker.


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