Tuesday
Mar242009

How I Voted My General Electric Proxy

I love proxy season. I wrote about my Coke proxy on Kapitall Backstage. Rather than overwhelm another site with my personal proxy positions, I will post them here.

 

BOARD STRUCTURE:

General Electric (GE) has a slate of the entire board up for election. This is a good thing; some companies have staggered board appointments to prevent shareholders from replacing the board all at once. This means shareholders have less power and the board doesn't have to respond to takeover offers.

 

COMPENSATION COMMITTEE:

CEO, Jeffrey Immelt:
Salary:$3,300,000:
Total Compensation:$14,096,603.

Even after all the stock has fallen, I like G.E. and plan to hold the stock. I was going to vote for all the proposed slate of directors unitl I saw the compensation of CEO, Jeffrey ImmeltNow, I know the guy has a tough job managing over 300,000 employees, but this has been a tough year for everyone. Shouldn't it have been a tough year for Immelt too? And this is not to mention all ther perqs. Private Jet, apartments, security etc. I don't blame him for getting all he can out of the board, so I'll blame the board's compensation committee. Thus, I voted FOR all the board members except the compensation committee. Members of the GE compensation committee are as follows: Andrea Jung, Ralph Larsen, Sam Nunn and Douglas Warner III.

 

GENERAL CORPORATE GOVERNANCE:

The other shareholder resolutions all concerned corporate governance that concerned greater management accountability to shareholders: I voted for all of them except for an independent study of a breakup of GE. I think GE should not be broken up and an independant study would be a waste of time. I'm sure management and the board consider a breakup every year.

The company does an excellent job of communicating with shareholders via their website. The GE 2008 proxy statement can be found in the investor relations section of the ge.com.

Disclosure: I own GE. I plan to continue to hold it. I've bought GE for a few family members' IRAs. I am short 10 strike calls against one-tenth of my GE position.

 

Monday
Mar232009

How I Voted My CocaCola Proxy

I wrote on the Backstage section of Kapitall.com about proxy voting.  I also just happened to include my own personal votes on directors as well as several shareholder initiatives at CocaCola (KO).

Disclosure: I own Coca Cola Inc (KO).  I drink Diet Coke when I cannot find coffee.

 

Tuesday
Mar172009

Barney Frank Sounds Like An Emerging Market Minister

Barney Frank's comments remind me of the kind of comments I heard back in the 1990's regarding foreign capital inflows to emerging economies. Countries like Brazil, Thailand, Korea and Chile were very nervous about fickle foreign capital actually hurting financial stability and would rather not have it even if that meant increasing the cost of capital.

Monday
Feb232009

Goodbye Godaddy

For the last three years I have been using Godaddy to host my personal website.  I have also been using their blog content management system.

Why I'm leaving the GoDaddy Quickblog:  

- Multiple passwords to remember.
- No flexibility to customize the headers.
- Limited templates that force usage.
- If users sigh up to be on a mailing list I cannot see who they are.
- Zero support
- Random changes to formats have occurred when there is a turnover.

Reasons why I'm switching to Squarespace.

- It's what I'm using at Kapitall.com to write news, market opinions and the company blog.
- Squarespace has much better customization
- Squarespace has customer support and it's quick
- Squarespace offices and my office at Kapitall are in the same building in Soho.
- After using it for Kapitall, I found that Squarespace is very resilient.
- Really easy blog import and export functions 

Disadvantages:

- At $8.00 a month for the basic package it costs more than Godaddy at $4.99.  
- Squarespace is young but given that I know they have been cash flow positive since inception I'm not worried about them going anywhere. This is offset by the easy export function, if they have problems I can just export to WordPress, TypePad or Blogger and keep going.
- I cannot import my old entries from the Godaddy Quickblog.
- Since it is new, it does not seem to support of the groovy functionality for instant exporting from tools.  (more on this as I test the "blog this" on my social net work sites. 

I haven't changed the DNS unt

Saturday
Feb212009

Patents

Funny things people send you when they are doing Web Stalking.  A friend found a patent that Morgan Stanley filed while I was there.  Technically, John Armstrong and I are the inventors but Morgan Stanley owns the patent.  I've never been listed as an inventor before.

Monday
Sep292008

How Lehman Collapse Made Me Thankful and Changed My Life

I had just gone to the doctor with Natalie. She had to have blood drawn and was very nervous about getting some blood drawn. I met her there to help her relax. I didn't know what to do so I told her every joke I knew for 45 minutes in the waiting room. She walked me back to my Soho office and on the way, we saw a cyclist killed in the very same intersection I ride through every day. The next day she asked me why I didn't say anything to her about the Lehman collapse. Even though I left Lehman three years earlier, she knew I'd lost all my executive compensation, pension, stock and my other investments were down my almost half. Basically, my financial future changed forever. "In didn't seem relevant at the time. In the end, what I lost didn't seem to make much difference relative to what that bicycle messenger lost that day."

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Tuesday
Jul012008

David Neubert Video Appearance on Fox Business News from February 2008

I was invited to the Fox Business show, "Happy Hour" to elaborate a piece I wrote for Seeking Alpha about my play for The Microsoft bid for Yahoo.   ...

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Tuesday
May132008

Interview on National Public Radio

On May 4th   On May 4th  I was interviewed by Jonathan Groubert for The State We're In.  The program ran on National Public Radio in the United States, CBC in Canada, ABC NewsRadio in Australia and Radio Netherlands. The interview was surprising personal. Mr. Groubert got me to admit more about my pay history, personal trials and philosophical views that I had planned.  

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Wednesday
Mar192008

Quoted : New York Times Opinionator Blog


Post-Bailout Punditry. My explanation of how Bear Stearns shares are trading into bailout.

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Tuesday
Mar182008

Quoted: New York Times Business Section



The Mystery of the Bear Stearns Stock Price.  

The Mergers & Acquisitions column of the New York Times Business Section, the author quotes my opinion on using Bear Sterns equity as a hedge for bond default.
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