July 8, 2013 Comments

On Monday the S&P was up 0.5%. Off hand I am not quite sure what Toronto did because Yahoo Finance seems to think it last traded on July 5. I have mentioned before that I have used Yahoo Finance for at least 15 years. But lately it slow to load sometimes only loads half the page and in general it makes me think that Yahoo is a company that is circling the drain. I really should switch to something else. It’s pathetic when one of the original internet portals cannot even serve up a web site that loads properly.

Wells Fargo was up 1.8% to a new all-time high. You may be aware that over the past few years and especially in 2008 and 2009, it was popular to suggest that the U.S. banks were technically broke. Yet Warren Buffett was telling us that Wells Fargo was a great buy. And gee, it turns out Buffett was right again and the doomers were wrong. Wells is a great company. But I did take the opportunity to trim my position today. It did not quite hit my price of $43 that  I mentioned below under July 6 but when I saw it at $42.95, I figured, close enough and changed my order to a market order and sold what amounts to 23% of what I held.

The whole train derailment tragedy did not affect CN’s price much today. It also did not affect Berkshire Hathaway. It may not be well known that one of the Berkshire businesses in the manufacture and rental of crude oil train cars. This through its Marmon subsidiary. All those cars that we see with PROCOR on the side of them belong as I understand it to Berkshire. And of course Berkshire owns Burlington Northern which carries lots of crude oil these days. And it could possibly have an exposure in insuring or reinsuring the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic railway although I have seen no suggestion of that.¬† In any event Berkshire is so big that even if crude shipments are curtailed because of this it should not have a very noticeable impact on Berkshire.

I would imagine that the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic will be bankrupted by this unless it has awfully good insurance. Also early indications appear to strongly suggest negligence on the part of that railway and I would also guess that its license to operate may be in jeopardy. I guess it’s natural for the rail road company to deny negligence but it seems despicable that they have pointed fingers at the fire fighters who dealt with a fire in the locomotive hours before the derailment. I am not sure the executive of the rail road would be safe on the streets of that town after saying this.


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