As most readers of this blog know, IFO’s approach to investing is the optimistic one – the glass is half full. We’ve been getting dividend increases on several of our stock holdings, so that view appears to be reasonable, even in the face of big market moves like today’s.
But for those of you who see a half-empty glass, let us confirm your bias. Several states have banks that are in big trouble. Not surprised, are you? Below is a fascinating and scary map from the Seattle Business Journal, showing banks under “severe enforcement actions:
Scary, eh? And how about this analyst, described by Barron’s as “Famed short-seller Jim Chanos…” Mr. Chanos agrees with us, for vastly different reasons, that Exxon, and integrated oil companies in general, are not good stocks to hold. He calls their situation a “value trap.”
“[Exxon’s] still not generating enough cash to cover all its cash needs. There’s a reason this stock has lagged despite its being the bluest of blue chips.” Chanos is bearish on the entire sector. “The cost structure has grown dramatically.”
So there you have it. We can be as bearish and gloomy as the next guy, if we find the right data to back us up.