What a great year, this 2009 is shaping up to be. Have you noticed that the days are getting longer?

And there’s a nice breeze. Wind chill here in New York must be 10-below.* And speaking of breezes . . .


Bob Fyfe: ‘You wrote Monday about a massive government stimulus package aimed at building windmills. For your readers who want to act right now to increase the demand for wind-generated power, it is already possible to sign up to purchase wind power here. In the last six months, our township has signed up more people to purchase wind energy than any other community in Southeastern Pennsylvania other than Philadelphia.’


Doug Mohn: I was searching for some GMAC bonds today when I stumbled across a Great Lakes Dredge and Dock bond (CUSIP 390606AG6) with a 7.75% coupon due in 2013 yielding 14.3% to maturity [because the bonds are trading at around $770 and will be redeemed for $1,000 when they come due]. While I agree with the thesis that infrastructure plays are interesting in our current climate, I didn’t realize the GLDD bonds were so junky. What is the likelihood that GLDD will be able to refinance its bonds at rates closer to 7.75% in five years?’

☞ I like these. Five years is a long time, and GLDD – which is already profitable after paying the interest on these bonds – may grow steadily stronger if and as dredging is restored to pre-Iraq levels. (You can put off routine maintenance only so long, goes the theory.) If for some reason the bonds defaulted, the bondholders would wind up owning the company. It’s been around for 118 years and estimates the replacement cost of its fleet at $1.5 billion. Not that it would ever fetch so much in a bankruptcy sale, but it might well fetch enough to cover the outstanding $200+ million in debt.


Click here: Ronald Reagan for four minutes 60 years ago. He was right as rain.

*But that’s 250 degrees Kelvin, which makes it seem warmer. I met a physicist this week who says the temperature of deep space is just 3 degrees Kelvin – and won a Nobel prize for cooling a gas down to one billionth of one degree Kelvin. So everything is relative. The real trick may be to wear layers.


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