Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Who's Buying?

IT IS happening again with Fairfax stock. As noted earlier, once again FXJ slumped at the start of  trading, then clawed its way northward. And again, it's the volume that is fascinating -- almost 30 million shares changing hands as of 3.45pm, well over twice the three-month average.

Is Mrs. Rinehart churning stock to let Corbett & Co. know she can dump the lot and ruin them at a moment's notice?

Is someone else taking a position, perhaps buy-out artists or a Rinehart ally?

Whatever the truth, it must be obvious by now to Roger Corbett that he and his board are, to all intents purposes, thoroughly stuffed. The market doesn't trust him to lift his company from the mire of so many years' poor stewardship. Nor does it understand how a push to digital will generate profits when online ad prices continue to decline and, even with the closure of its prime printing plants, most of the costly Old Media infrastructure remains by necessity in place. So what can Corbett hope to gain by delaying capitulation?

Well, there is one possible explanation: Could it be that Corbett & Co are hoping a staff revolt in defence of, ahem, quality journalism will prompt the Gillardian rabble to fling a poultice of public monies their way? Quite apart from the delicious irony of staffers being the potential salvation of a management that will sack large numbers in any case, there is Prime Minister Yabby's* proven record of squandering billions on everything from web sites for monitoring grocery rices to pouring additional funds into TV-WOG. While she is most definitely sly, the Yabby is far from smart, so there might just be enough wit behind that Mr Squiggle nose to realise her party is going to be out of power for a long, long time, so why not fund a trust or somesuch to support a permanent mouthpiece for everything that moistens a Bunswick bicycle with righteous excitement?

The end is coming, and here is another irony. When they sacked Larry, Curly and Mo-ette yesterday from the editors' offices of the Silly and the Phage, Fairfax finally did the right and sensible thing. Same with the announced switch to tabloid format, tardy as its implementation may be. As for Greg Hywood, well he can't actually believe, as he told Neil Mitchell, that an unyielding diet of warmism, common room cant, apologies for a favoured government's incompetence and a selective eye for corruption has had nothing to do with the Age's alienation from the city and readership it once served.

Gillard's boys -- "man" ill-suits the snivelling likes of Combet, Burke, Conroy --  have variously said there will be no Fairfax bailout. Then again, didn't the Yabby say something similar about a carbon tax?

* Yabby: A creature mostly red, happiest in the muck, with the meat in its tail and the crap in its head.


16 comments:

  1. Oh, well done with the yabby analogy. One more point, regarding their locomotion; they go forward slowly, using their claws: but when alarmed they scoot backwards (retreat, preferably to an aquatic bunker).
    The next time that I am peeling yabbies, I shall fantasise about my part in the revolution.

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  2. Walter Plinge of TulkaJune 26, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    Love the 'Yabby' epithet. That's a keeper.

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  3. * Yabby: A creature mostly red, happiest in the muck, with the meat in its tail and the crap in its head.
    Gee - I gotta pay that one -no more Juliar, it's Yabby from now on !!

    Many thanks Prof.

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  4. Too bad the Fairfax board and all those "idependent" journalists are too self-satisfied to realise that their inevitable demise is due to group-think. This is what happens when group-think meets commercial reality.

    Also, I wonder if the 400,000+ members (LOL) of GetUp are having a little flutter on the Stock!

    JMH

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  5. Yabby, love it! Prof you're a gem :) Glad you're back...

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  6. Yabby, yep pay that, beautiful description of Julia.

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  7. Hmm, I can only think of the great AFL St.Kilda/Hawthorn coach Allan Jeans when I hear the name "Yabby" - but I promise to move forward - it fits too well, as neatly as a silk slipper.

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  8. Yabbie is good or Gilgie if you're West Aussie born (pronounce joogie)

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  9. Just wonderful, Prof. You lift my spirits daily. Interested to learn that you too have gremlins in the response programme. Andrew Bolt had to apologise tonight for the appalling performance of his so-called moderators. It seems that staff at the Herald are no more mindful of the readers needs than the farcical mob in Fairfax. They're all destined for the dole queue. It's truly astonishing that whole lot of them just don't get the "Net".

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    1. If we could all just agree not to rush for the lawyers every time some drongo says something dumb, things would be a lot easier.

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  10. The yabby also makes a squealing noise when dropped in hot water.

    The Irish Lion

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  11. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.June 26, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    The Yabby and similar murky pond dwellers will make a very tasty meal for a hungry electorate too, Prof. Roll on dinner time.

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  12. The latin name for the yabby is "cherax destructor" - appropriate somehow.

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  13. The Old and Unimproved DaveJune 27, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    Yabbies in a farm dam eventually undermine the earthen wall retaining the water. They also encourage illegal entry into their vicinity by folk wanting to feast on their largesse.

    I remember a childhood friend telling me about the time he'd seen some folk about to go through a fence onto their property after yabbies in the dam. He yelled to his little sister to make sure the electric fence was off. She got confused and threw the switch ON rather than OFF.

    Let's just say that the yabbie hunter in question thereafter was in serious danger of disappointing his future wife.

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  14. Heading down to my broker with a dodecagonal coin to purchase an FXJ ordinary share (and they really are ordinary)

    The Irish Lion

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  15. Gina's revenge could best be had by either (a) continuing to buy until she is the absolute majority shareholder (after which they have to bend over and take it up there whether they want it or not) or by deciding to cut her losses and sell short. Very, very short. (After which, if the share price declines very, very rapidly, option A may well become a possibility!)

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