Michael Lipper: picking winners and avoiding losers
The Wall Street veteran runs the rule over what Black Friday, the form of NFL teams and Hurricane Sandy recovery can mean for investors.
by Michael Lipper on Nov 26, 2012 at 09:52
A good analyst and a better investor learn from what they are exposed to in their life experiences. We are all interested in picking winners and particularly in avoiding losers.
In the US on Thursday, we celebrated Thanksgiving. This official holiday is similar to other harvest holidays celebrated in many countries that have developed from an agrarian base.
Within the US, the holiday is an occasion to watch traditional American football games, either in person, on a television or on a computer screen.
Immediately after the holiday is the somewhat official beginning of Christmas and Chanukah shopping season both in stores and online.
As family and friends gather, often there are opportunities to acknowledge what we are grateful for; forgiving those that have disappointed us, but not forgetting the lessons learned.
In New Jersey and some parts of New York and other states, one of the things that we are thankful for is that we have begun recovering from the recent visit of the super storm Sandy.
Some of us were just inconvenienced by the loss of power for a period of days into weeks. Others have lost their homes in part or in total to the combinations of the hurricane followed by a “nor’easter” snowstorm, and in some cases resultant fires.
The physical, emotional and financial damage is starting to be more fully understood. Whatever the immediate size of the financial loss, by current estimate the money spent on rebuilding, and in many cases new construction, will be larger than the financial losses sustained.
These expenditures on housing, infrastructure and shoreline development will occur over a couple of years, as much concerted planning is needed to avoid some of the ravages of future storms.
My guess is that the infrastructure and the rebuilding spending will initially focus on an attempt to restore what was in the impacted area first.
There is likely a second phase that may occur as people start to take a long-term view. Much of New York, Boston, Hong Kong, Singapore and elsewhere are built on reclaimed land from nearby oceans and rivers.
There are people who believe that within the next 100-300 years these lands will be subject to waters rising five feet, which would flood LaGuardia Airport in Queens and Logan Airport in Boston for example. If these fears are acted upon, the indirect costs of Sandy will be huge.
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