March 18, 2013 Comments

As expected, markets were weak today due to the Cyprus bail-out situation. But overall the reaction was modest and not as bad as many feared. I have not seen any good analysis of exactly what was being proposed there or why the banks were involved. What was the financial health of the banks? How did the banks relate to the government which was being bailed out? I understand that the terms of the deal may change… The idea of “taxing” bank deposits does seem like a singularly stupid idea. Just how broke was Cyprus what were the consequences if it defaulted on its debt? Surely some $12 billion is not really that much money, surely the government had some kind of assets it could sell instead? Why not issue a series of Cyprus patriot bonds to be sold to Cypriots at home and abroad who would buy the bonds as a show of patriotism?

I’m tempted to take some profits on Shaw Communications which has done very well as far as the stock price in past six months. Profits and free cash were strong in Q1 (our last update was Q4). It appears that the company was not predicting much growth in 2013 overall and so subsequent quarters may not look as strong as Q1.