February 17, 2011
During the worst of the Gulf oil spill I bought shares of BP under the theory that the media exaggerated the extent of the problem and underestimated BP’s ability to deal with it, both operationally and legally. I timed the bottom wrong, but the concept was right. BP stock is up about twenty points from the bottom. Some might say that I bet evil would win.
Today’s prediction is that the media got Egypt wrong. It looks to me as if the revolution took power from a dictator and handed it to another dictator. Things could turn out well if the new dictator and all of his friends have nothing to fear from a democratic government that would later seek to prosecute them for who-knows-what. How do you feel about those odds?
I think the new military dictator will make some promises, ease a few restrictions, maybe hold some suspicious elections, and look to consolidate power over time. I hope I’m wrong. But I think evil will win again. And I think the protests in neighboring countries will die down too.
By way of full disclosure, I invested in an ETF of Israeli stocks (EIS) before the Egypt story broke. That was my usual bad timing, and my investment took a hit because of the unrest. I’m holding on because Israel has a booming tech economy and I think the media coverage has the unintended effect of exaggerating the new risk to Israel. (The old risks are obviously still there.)
This is where I remind you that it is unwise to take investment advice from cartoonists.