YCG Investments
“If you buy above average businesses at below average prices, on average, we believe you should come out ahead.” — Brian Yacktman

Banks hiding losses?

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In Barron’s this week, Alan Abelson writes about a discussion with Stephanie Pomboy, the Founder and President of MacroMavens, a company which provides macroeconomic research to the institutional investment community: “[There was approximately] a $10 billion reduction in the banks’ loss provisioning last year [which] was a major contributor to their gain in fourth-quarter earnings…There’s the possibility that banks are forced to mark to market all the toxic securities they carry at cost. If they were to follow the example of the FDIC, which in a sale last week marked down a batch of kindred securities, they’d have to take a 50% haircut.” Thus, the question remains if the new flexibility in marked to market accounting standards has led banks to hide losses. These figures are quite unnerving to say the least!

Disclaimer: The specific securities identified and discussed should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell any particular security. Rather, this commentary is presented solely for the purpose of illustrating YCG’s investment approach. These commentaries contain our views and opinions at the time such commentaries were written and are subject to change thereafter. The securities discussed do not represent an account’s entire portfolio and in the aggregate may represent only a small percentage of an account’s portfolio holdings. These commentaries may include “forward looking statements” which may or may not be accurate in the long-term. It should not be assumed that any of the securities transactions or holdings discussed were or will prove to be profitable. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Posted by: Brian Yacktman | March 22, 2010 | Permalink

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