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Investment Ideas / Re: NYRT - New York REIT
« Last post by given2invest on Today at 07:17:51 AM »
I think it's marked lower than that.  Says 127m but then there is a 35m deduction at bottom and says this:

   "Under the liquidation basis of accounting, our real estate holdings are now carried at their estimated value. As a result, the net liquidation adjustment is the net adjustment that we have made to the carrying value of the property in order to reflect its fair value.".

You will have a hard time figuring out what the hotel is worth.  Have to believe at this point management has gotten indications of interest and would have marked it down more when they slashed NAV in the fall if they felt it was gonna come up short.  In fact, they had another opportunity to do so this last quarter and did not. 

I believe the previous time it was on the market they probably wanted a lot more for it given they paid $148.5M. 

In the end, if it sells for $75m or $50M, it's not the end of the investment thesis.  You're still buying 1WWP at a discount to what it sold at to SLG.  But I think we'll end up ok.  It needs to be rebranded and not be sold as a premium product.  The price/key is low enough where I'd think they get it sold.

Andrew has it marked at b/w 75 and 85M fwiw.  He explains how he gets to this in the blog post.
Fairfax Financial / Re: Climate Change and Cat Losses
« Last post by Cigarbutt on Today at 07:06:18 AM »
I would say that there has been a strong tendency to make an association between costs related to "weather" events and "climate" change. Association is not automatically cause and effect. But it sells well.

Probably a long term issue but worth keeping an eye on.

Some interesting "facts":

-Studies have built a relatively convincing case that wind storm activity has increased in the North American Basin since the 1970's BUT this has not been replicated in other areas in the world and results may still be within statistical noise.

-Storm activity as measured in many studies has increased in the last 20 or 30 years but these levels are comparable to what happened about 100 years ago.

-Studies clearly show an increasing trend in storm activity of lower intensity and this is "associated" with the notion of higher water temperatures but this trend can be essentially explained by improved measurement equipment and technology.

However, this needs to be watched because, if there is a trend, the trend may not be linear and factors may compound.


With the Superstorm Sandy, it has been estimated that a significant part of the insured losses were related to higher sea levels. The trend in sea level change is significant and it is hard to see how this trend will change. This is a long term trend and it is not essential for your investment decison to establish if this is related to climate warming or not. Sea level rising levels is just a fact. If you think of what is happening in the Netherlands for instance, you may see that a rising sea level will not have a linear effect in terms of the consequences as the measures taken to control floods may spectacularly fail at some point. It may be possible at this point to model how a 1mm level of sea level rise could result in a certain amount of insured damages to exposed areas such as New York or Florida. Potential black swans.

FWIW, I think that this "factor" (climate change) should not be a major variable in your decision. The underwriting cycle is much more of an issue. Historically, after earthquakes, people have kept coming back progressively closer to the volcano as the quality of the arable lands (lava) was inversely proportional to the center of the eruption center. People (like insurers) tend to forget how things can get nasty after quiet periods. It is just human nature.

As always, it is likely a good idea to look at insurers and reinsurers that keep a reasonable cap on losses (think Allied World), that have a diversified book of business and that have the capital buffers in place to deal with "surprises".

Investment Ideas / Re: PWE - Penn West Petroleum
« Last post by Joe689 on Today at 07:03:17 AM »
This is just ugly.  I am failing to see how to move forward from here independent unless current MGMT get the votes.  This is last call for current MGMT to pull a rabbit out of its hat.   
Investment Ideas / Re: PWE - Penn West Petroleum
« Last post by SharperDingaan on Today at 06:49:30 AM »
"We also suggested that the NYSE listing would go, and implied that the consolidated share count would require an equity issue for float purposes."

So you consolidate the stock, then issue shares to improve liquidity? At these levels? And plug the proceeds from that dilution into the Cardium?

Like I mentioned multiple times, some on this thread have failed to look at what has been going on in the Canadian energy space. It is not only OBE that has come down (crashed?) and underperformed but, pretty much all stocks.

The company has turned around mainly because of a very smart sale of their Saskatchewan asset to Teine in 2016. Now is not the time to entertain desperate plans but, to hunker down, cut costs and be patient.


Near term additional drilling gets funded either from asset sales, or an equity sale. A retractable convertible pref sold via a bought deal would let them keep the assets, & evidence institutional confidence. The buyer gets an interest paying option, and it does not neccessarily dilute.

Agreed that all else equal, slow and steady should get them there.
IF they can stay independent .. which is somewhat questionable at the moment.

Investment Ideas / Re: PWE - Penn West Petroleum
« Last post by constala on Today at 06:36:14 AM »
" we (THE BOARD) are AGGRESSIVELY looking at all options to increase shareholder value"

God I hate this public news release nonsense, it could mean everything and nothing at the same time.

General Discussion / Re: This woman is really amazing!
« Last post by Cigarbutt on Today at 06:31:28 AM »
The unravelment may become in fact more interesting than the rise.

For those familiar with Bre-X (not saying that the situation is the same, saying that there may be some parallels), the most interesting character was not be the one in the limelight. I always thought that the most interesting character was Michael de Guzman, the geologist. Who knows what really happened to him?

For Theranos, if a movie is ever made, I hope they focus on the "mysterious tech entrepreneur with almost no digital footprint".
Berkshire Hathaway / Re: Buffett/Berkshire - general news
« Last post by longinvestor on Today at 06:29:28 AM »
Good article in Barrons:

Why Edward Thorp Owns Only Berkshire Hathaway

"Q: Whatís in your portfolio now?

A: One good stroke of good fortune was meeting Warren Buffett in 1968. It led me to realize that I needed to invest in Berkshire Hathaway (ticker: BRK.A), although I didnít do it until 1982. Itís my single investment in the stock market. Itís like a broad value-stocks equity index. I hold it in lieu of VTSAX [the Vanguard Total Stock Market fund]. It does about as well with no current taxes to pay. VTSAX has dividends that are taxed annually. I also have some hedge funds, but I consider them not as good as Berkshire, so I use them to spend and finance other things I do.

Q: Why not go out and find better investments, as you did in the past?

A: When I was 35, I had lots of time and less money, so doing 10% or so better than the index, with little risk, was attractive and fun. At 85, the marginal value of time is higher and the marginal value of money is lower. These are strong disincentives when I can make a long-run 10% or so by doing nothing."

+ 1

I would add that 10% is great when the index is likely to do 3-5% over the next decade.

Also canít wait for 2019 to end because the headline about Berkshire would be Ďover the past decade BRK has returned >15%í

General Discussion / Re: SeekingAlpha turns Evil
« Last post by Cigarbutt on Today at 06:21:12 AM »
I found the SA articles to be uneven but some of them were very good.
At times, found it helpful to look that way in order to continue validation of an already researched investment thesis.
Even in the less than stellar articles, there were sometimes details which could be helpful in terms of potential outcome assessment.
Not sure it made a significant difference though.
Perhaps time better spent elsewhere.
Fairfax Financial / Re: 2017 Annual Letter
« Last post by petec on Today at 06:19:05 AM »

Investment Ideas / Re: PWE - Penn West Petroleum
« Last post by Joe689 on Today at 06:10:09 AM »
Now is not the time to entertain desperate plans but, to hunker down, cut costs and be patient.

The company may think otherwise.  "status quo is not an option and have been pursuing attractive commercial opportunities to reward investors"
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