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Guggenheim S&P Global Water ETF Message Board

  • randy_foo randy_foo Oct 15, 2004 11:38 AM Flag

    MMC and AJG

    Youch, Spitzer at it again.

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    • >>I want this board to stick to investing. The likelyhood of lawsuits is on topic.

      Interpretting how far a lawsuit might go carries with it some interpretation of the nature of the prosecutor.

      The public policy well its more politics but a bit related.<<
      I'd normally agree with that, and that public policy and investments are intertwined. However, agreeing to the idea that politics and investments are "not mutually exclusive" led the "other" board to be politics to the exclusion of any other topic.

      If I had to choose between mums the word on politics here or no differentiation between this board and the other one, I'd gladly choose the former.

    • BTW, this is actually the third run in Spitzer has had with a segment of Marsh within the last year or so. Marsh�s consulting group, Mercer Meidinger, also negotiated Mr. Grasso�s pay and severance packages with the NYSE. As part of a settlement there, Mercer has to return the $500k or so in fees it took. All in all, all three of the major segments of Marsh, including Putnam, have had problems with Spitzer. Something about three strikes and being out comes to mind;-). Spitzer just appears fed up with the top management after three run ins.

      As for the latest problem, it turns out that Spitzer has only complained about one of Marsh�s reinsurance divisions, that I can tell. They have several. However, it�s probably not a small division, given the amount of fess discussed.

      My sense is somebody might take this company apart, if Marsh doesn�t do it itself. Interesting that Clipper and T. Rowe Price were among the largest shareholders at the end of last Q. Given what we know today, it really seems likely someone might take Marsh apart, or at least put pressure on Marsh itslel to divide the company up. About 25% of MMC shares have turned over the last couple of days. One wonders who was selling and who was buying and how much. Someone not only sold but someone also bought 140 million shares. They only have 520 million shares outstanding.

    • <<Hard to say at this point. Probably a little of both. The emails uncovered by Spitzer appear to be pretty damaging and it's hard to imagine, given their content, that the practices in question weren't pretty wide spread.>>

      I guess muel stipulated the point pretty well, so that I was only reponding to inuendo (of his)

      and inuendo compsiracy, theory, moral authority and other of that flock do belong on sigy....

      however, my apology is that I didn't include a "read this yahoo link" rather than an apology for responding to the inuendo itself.

    • Say no more.

    • Thats a good point Neb...I'm not following the issues with Marsh and my news sources don't let me get bombarded with every Spitzer inuendo. I'll stick to the headlines and only read factual parts of articles, and end actions....I read through inuendo very quickly.

      I want this board to stick to investing. The likelyhood of lawsuits is on topic.

      Interpretting how far a lawsuit might go carries with it some interpretation of the nature of the prosecutor.

      The public policy well its more politics but a bit related.

      The state has an oblgation to find fruad in the public companies we own. In the end the more executives that get caught the less we'll get stolen from in the future and the less unknown liabilities we might have in buying and owning public companies.

      I think Publicity does bring forward other witnesses to help the case. Lots of people know stuff when a crime is committed but for various reasons are scared to come forward with the information, especially if they feel it won't be acted upon by a government prosecutor.

      By creating an environment where people who know of fraud fear indictment themselves if they don't come forward and share what they know, the government serves its case. (even if it also serves a prosecutors political ambitions)

    • Could you folks take this discussion to the "other" board?

    • Now, now... the AA meeting isn't the place to hold a wine-tasting, even if you haven't gotten further than passing the cork around (yet).

    • BTW, what Spitzer is perhaps doing differently what others haven't done, in uncovering these 'crimes', is the public way in which he discloses the allegations. A few years ago, Marsh would have paid a fine without admitting wrongdoing and promised not to do it again, and the share price would not have lost $15-20. He almost acts as if he wants to put companies out of business, despite, in March's case anyway, the number of employees they have in New York. There's not much explanation for some of his behavior or verbiage. His language is almost childish sometimes. Like in Marsh's case when he stated he couldn't even do business or negotiate with the top execs (because they're so corrupt and dishonest I suppose). Not a very mature way for an AG to act, IMO, whether it's true or not. His behavior seems to be reminiscent of the trustbusters of a hundred years ago or almost of a modern day evangelist, JMO.

    • "Youch, Spitzer at it again."

      Spitzer does seem to have a flair grabbing headlines. Whether or not the insurance brokerage business is rampantly corrupt or not, as a whole, I have a hard time appreciating his approach. As an aside, he obviously didn't like the way Marsh handled the Putnam situation, which might have something to do with this.

      If the contingent commissions are not replaced at all, one might knock off about 25% of EPS, making this year's EPS about $2.25. At $29, this puts Marsh about as low a P/E as it has sold at for the last 40 years. JMO, relative to the market, it was already selling based on the lower EPS (many analysts had already written about the possibility of complete loss of these commissions when Spitzer�s investigation first began). However, the 'quality' cache of the company in the market has been affected with the very public allegations, much as Salomon's was affected before Mr. Buffett was named CEO after the treasury auction scandals.

 
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