Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Man, I am SO Out of Research Budget

At the behest of faithful reader zacksback, I decided to go read the Fortune article on the troubles with Steve Jobs. Interesting part of the article to me was that this Peter Elkind fella who wrote it said it took months to write it. MONTHS. My guess is that Peter was using Vista Home Basic No Frills Hold The Pickles Hold The Lettuce on an Acer he bought at a Wally World clearance sale. He probably used the mouse for all his cutting and pasting, too. And since the article consists of four pages of cut-and-pasted years-old rehash, innuendo, and occasional inane suppositories, it had to be pretty slow slogging.

Interestingly, even though the synopses of the article I read before commenting on it led me to believe that it was a lame-ass hatchet job, I had to admit after reading it that zacksback was right. It was even stupider than I thought it would be. He even called Steve Jobs a vegetarian.

The basic tenets of the article are that Steve Jobs is an asshole, that Steve Jobs is a crook, that Steve Jobs lied to the shareholders by omission when he didn't drive the stock down by announcing he had cancer. All of this is done by slanting facts to make those points. The fact that His Steveness has been cleared of wrongdoing in the stock backdating "scandal" by the SEC is mentioned in passing, but only once Peter makes his point that El Jobso is one dirty bastard.

Probably the stupidest point, and the one most harped on by Peter, is that Master Jobst Fimil is an asshole. This opinion probably stems in part from the Master's refusal to be interviewed for a planned hatchet job. Peter contrasted this to the fact that His Steveness granted an interview to another reporter for the same rag. This upset him, I think.

And everybody knows there's nothing more annoying than a sore Peter.

Guess what, though. That isn't the dumbest damn thing I've read today – the longest dumbass thing I've read, but not the stupidest. No, that honor goes to Douglas A. McIntyre at 24/7 Wall St. in a post called: Steve Jobs In (sic) No Robin Hood. Douglas insists that the fact that Apple isn't buying back stocks or planning a dividend proves that Steve Jobs is a cheapskate.

Well Douglas, how the hell do you end up writing investment advice without even having the faintest glimmer of a clue? Every third economist on the planet is predicting a recession or frigging stagflation or some other huge economic malady. If you're the CEO of a consumer commodity company heading in to rough economic weather, and you have plenty of cash to ride that out, and you spend that reserve to allow day traders to bail out at a good price, you're an idiot. Steve Jobs, as noted above, may be many things; he sure hasn't demonstrated that he's an idiot of that magnitude.

It's a company, dickweed. It isn't a charity. If you bought stocks expecting the CEO to endanger the long-term health of the company so you could hold on to unrealistic profits on your trades, you're just the kind of pinhead that allows me to make money in the market.

Be sure you separate investors from traders. There's a difference. I'm an investor. I've held Apple stock for almost 10 years. I just bought a few more shares. I'm not feeling the pain. Traders might have gotten creamed. Steve doesn't owe traders any loyalty – loyalty being a two-way street. Trading the price of paper is WAY different from investing in a company.

He owes loyalty only to investors (people who have held the stock for a while and believe in the company, like me). That loyalty is best expressed by making sure the company rides out the Next Great Depression or whatever the hell this is. As near as I can see it, hanging on to a $20 billion cushion is a really smart thing to do.

Feel free to disagree.


Bret Favre announced his retirement today. You don't have to like football, or even sports, to recognize that Mr. Favre is a true sporstsman, a man's man, and a gentleman. He's leaving the game on his own terms – with the NFL quarterback record book in his back pocket. Bravo, Bret. You'll be missed.

(response to earlier query) – Poke the pekingese: screw the pooch, dick the dog, boink the housepet, hump the neighbor's cat.

One more item of note. A lot of people are up in arms because Master Jobst Fimil dissed Flash today. I'm certain that he carefully measured his words and didn't mean to start a fight. Please don't read a lot into that. The fact that Flash is a web standard can be attributed to the youth of the web, not that Flash doesn't actually suck – which it does.

Have you ever tried peanut butter on pork rinds? Here. Have one.