Apr 22, 2008

that was very foolish mr. bond

Researching foreign companies is such a completely different ball game than researching US companies. Besides the general lack of stringent accounting rules and procedures and general lack of timely released data about the business, there is another aspect that is very different. Conglomerates and holding companies are relatively common outside the U.S. Especially in Asia.

I'm looking at a Korean company right now. They refine crude oil and the finances for this operation are available. Fine. They take some of the outflows and turn them into chemicals and these finances are available too.

They also own a home shopping network. A what? Some department stores, mini marts, one of the largest online retailers in the world, and a shopping catalog business. Wait how did that get in there? With the same brand name nonetheless. Remind me again what the synergies are between light sweet crude fractioning and selling bad jewelry. And none of it has any available financial information.

They also do engineering and construction. You know, you want a skyscraper or a house built, these are your guys. Totally opaque finances.

Electric company too. Nothing.

They own some land and skyscraper which they rent out. Nothing.

Did I mention they own a sports stadium?

I always feel like when I look at these companies that Blofeld must be behind it. Remember those giant dioramas where you can see the bad guy's oil refinery in Texas, the department stores in the Pacific Northwest, the engineering in California, the rental buildings in New York, the sports stadium in Florida, and the giant laser satellite factory in North Dakota. Wait a second....

1 comment:

Craig said...

Odd Wikipedia article you linked to. It says:

"Blofeld was named after Tom Blofeld (father of Henry), who attended Eton College with Ian Fleming.[5]"

and then in the footnotes, I find:

"It is commonly believed that the name Blofeld was inspired by the English cricket commentator Henry Blofeld's father, with whom Fleming went to school. The truth, however, is that he was named after 'Ernst Blofeld', the father of the author John Blofeld with whom Fleming was associated through Club membership. Henry and John were cousins of some degree."

that was very foolish, mr. wikipedian.