January 12, 1999 |
Sears, Roebuck & Co. (S) Jim: Here's a challenge, Mike: Can we discuss Sears without making some stupid play on words with its "softer side" slogan? I mean, if I see one more newspaper or magazine snicker about "the softer side" of Sears being its profit, or its fuzzy strategy, or its . . . . Mike: Don't worry, I'm happy to break the mold. But I have to tell you, I've always had a problem with Sears both as a company and a stock.
January 23, 2001 |
SBC Communications (SBC) Jim: Don't buy Mike: Don't buy * Jim: SBC Communications isn't a household name in Southern California, Michael, but everyone's familiar with its main division here--an outfit called Pacific Bell. Mike: Yeah, in the same way that a company named Vivendi is a closed book to anyone outside France, but we all know its big California property--Universal Studios.
December 7, 1999 |
Excite@Home (ATHM) Jim: This outfit was originally known as @Home, until it bought Internet portal site Excite not long ago. And now, Mike, Excite @Home is somewhat of an interesting animal out there in the Internet world. Mike: Yes, it's a camel. And thanks for that straight line. This is the quintessential company designed by a committee. Jim: Yikes! And I was going to be charitable and just call it a hybrid. Mike: First, though, let me make full disclosure.
August 15, 2000 |
Kmart (KM) * Jim: Don't buy Mike: Don't buy Jim: I'm getting tired of this story, Mike. Here's yet another big, lumbering retailer that's going nowhere. Kmart, just like Sears and J.C. Penney, is restructuring itself yet again to try to get its earnings and stock price back up. To which I say: Good luck. Mike: Stop whining, Jim. To me, Kmart today sort of defines the youth movement. For starters, it has a new, 40-year-old chief executive, one Charles Conaway.
October 26, 1999 |
Dayton Hudson (DH) Jim: Now here's what you'd call a department store conglomerate, Mike. Dayton Hudson, with about $30 billion-plus in sales, has 1,200 stores in 44 states, but they serve all range of pocketbooks. Mike: Right. Dayton Hudson is everything from soup to nuts. Or to put it another way, everything from consomme to lobster bisque. Jim: The lobster bisque being Marshall Field's, which is mainly in the Midwest and East, along with Dayton's.
October 31, 2000 |
AT&T (T) Jim: Buy Mike: Don't buy * Mike: We're looking only at AT&T today, Jim. We've reviewed it before, but now it's very much in the news again and in the hearts and minds of investors everywhere. Jim: And what a perfect stock for Halloween, Mike, because this one is a nightmare. Mike: First, I want to take credit for one of the world's greatest "to be sures," which as you know is a term of art in our business.
September 12, 2000 |
Qualcomm (QCOM) Jim: Buy Mike: Buy * Mike: The stock of this San Diego-based telecommunications company rose so far so fast last year, Jim, that it seems BMWs and Jaguars were sprouting on the streets of San Diego like dandelions on a sump. Jim: Qualcomm's stock performance was even eclipsing Broadcom's, which tells you something.
January 16, 2014 |
Those of us who write about the housing market and the virtues of the 30-year fixed home loan -- as we did Wednesday -- can calibrate our watches by how long it takes a reader to respond as follows: "Hey, Canada doesn't have 30-year fixed mortgages, and their housing market's doing just fine! Usually about a nanosecond. This is a popular line of chatter for pundits too. Back in August, Matthew Yglesias of Slate.com questioned why "there's some urgent need for the government to subsidize 30-year fixed-rate mortgages.
September 18, 2011 |
The New Deal A Modern History Michael Hiltzik Free Press: 499 pp., $30 Michael Hiltzik's "Colossus," published last year, told the story of the building of what is now known as the Hoover Dam, an epic public works project that was seized upon by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as an icon of his New Deal. Hiltzik's latest, an extension of "Colossus" in a way, moves on to the subject of the New Deal itself, beginning with FDR's election in November 1932 and his inauguration four months later on a cold, damp day when America, in the midst of a banking collapse, was a "stupefied giant standing face to face with insolvency.
January 30, 2001 |
Men's Wearhouse (MW) Jim: Don't buy Mike: Buy * Mike: I'll start with this question about Men's Wearhouse: Jim, would you say that George Zimmer is the Frank Perdue of the '90s? Jim: No question, though some readers might not get the connection. Zimmer is not only the chief executive of apparel chain Men's Wearhouse, he's also its pitchman on TV and radio, just as Perdue flacked--or flicked--for his chicken company. And like Perdue, Zimmer's very good at promotion.