Odds And Ends

Jeff  Carter
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Posted: Jan 11, 2012 12:01 AM

-I have been busy doing a million things this year so far that don’t put in cash in my back pocket but do give me a lot of good information. Here are some odds and ends that I have gleaned from a lot of different conversations I have had with people.

-Black people are becoming a lot more interested in entrepreneurship. I am meeting them more and more. I know some organizations that are trying to target them to support them. That’s a great thing. They see opportunity and they are going for it. Entrepreneurship is an equal opportunity employer. No racism in scalable companies. If enough of them are successful, and I hope they are, you will see a lot more free market libertarians walking around the black community.

-The more I speak with market participants, the more I come to realize that the American banking balance sheet crisis is nowhere near solved, and it’s just as bad in Europe. Trillions of dollars of assets are incorrectly accounted for on bank balance sheets and there is no way for them to raise the capital to hold them. Their only choice is to find a buyer. All that supply is going to push prices down further. I’d look for more compression of multiples in the financial space. But once the balance sheets are actually clean, they might rocket.

-Jon Huntsman looks like the Rudy Guiliani of this campaign. With his accomplishments, he should have done a lot better but he was really unfocused.

-They play defense in the SEC when they put the pigskin in play. I can’t believe how many times LSU had second and long.

-The rhetoric I am seeing out of the left already leads me to believe this will be the ugliest Presidential campaign since 1802. The mud is going to fly because there is far too much at stake for the hard lefties if Obama goes down. They will lose their dream of socialized medicine, which Reagan correctly summed up in a video. If they can control your access to medical care, they can control you too.

-I made some short ribs last night. I love short ribs and think they are one of the greatest foods known to mankind when cooler temperatures prevail. In warmer times, it’s got to be a pounded hanger steak.

-One of the companies I am invested in, UICO, has a new website. They are out at the Consumer Electronics Show this week. Really cutting edge technology that is amazingly versatile. Can use it in food service, in operating rooms, on consumer products, on tractors. If you know someone in those industries, send them a link.

-Generation Y is different from my generation. When I was in high school, America had its worst years since the Great Depression. But when I graduated from college, we were on an upswing. In 1987, we had a huge scare, but we shook it off until 1999 and the internet collapse. Since then we have been on a roller coaster so I can’t blame the Y’s for thinking the way they do. However, they will be okay if they invest in a fund that replicates the S&P. Put away cash for their retirement. They can find plenty of online calculators, but if they put around $2000 away a year for the rest of their working years and don’t touch it, the compounding will make them millionaires when they retire.

-There are some really cool start up companies out there seeking to monetize different parts of our lives. It’s really amazing to talk to them and learn about how creative they are thinking. In the past couple of months I have held office hours and spoken to people face to face about their ideas, and I have been to a couple of angel meetings. Haven’t seen two deals alike yet.

Listened to some CEO’s talk about medical innovation today on television. I had previously listened to some VC’s that invest in medical innovations. If you put two and two together, you would know that if Obamacare is enacted, all the innovation and all the medical care that people want will be outsourced to points outside of the country. Medical tourism will be a huge industry. People that can’t afford it will have to wait in line.

I am in love with El Nina. The weather here in Chicago has been particularly delightful the last month and a half. Only three more months to go and its baseball season.

The Republicans that stick to fiscal issues and pound away at them will win. Republicans that run on social issues are one trick ponies that will lose. Ironically, most of the Republicans that think social issues are the most important also favor big government to engineer those issues. They are wrong. Economic incentives trump all. Until you realize there is a supply and demand curve for everything, and that includes relationships, and that there is an opportunity cost to every decision you make, you will continue to believe in big government no matter which side of the aisle you are from.

Have a good evening.