Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Time Magazine Fete: Economic Zeitgeist? And: Time's Iwo Jima Cover

From DealBook:

The seating chart and invitation list for Time Magazine’s sixth-annual 100 Most Powerful People ceremony may serve as an economic power barometer: hedge funds and private equity out, Twitter and government policymakers in.

While the party which drew the likes of First Lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey, The New York Post noted that Steven A. Cohen, the powerful head of hedge fund SAC Capital, didn’t even score an invite.

Meanwhile, Blackstone Group chief Stephen Schwarzman found himself demoted to table No. 14, the newspaper said. In his former place at the head of the room: Twitter’s co-founders and Obama policy advisers....

Speaking of zeitgeist, last year when Time Magazine used Joe Rosenthal's iconic photo of the flag raising on Mount Suribachi on their cover of the 'Special Environment Issue', I had a few thoughts:

1) These guys are really out of touch.

2) These guys are really uncreative.

For a media company, either of those facts would be a good reason to short the stock. Combining both in the same business made it a lock. I didn't say so though (I didn't put the picture on the blog either). Instead my comment was:

"...Among the Americans who served on Iwo island, uncommon valor was a common virtue."

-Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz
Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet
Communique No. 300
17 March 1945*

*CINCPACFLT Communique No. 300, World War II Command File, Operational Archives Branch, Naval Historical Center.

It's been a bit over a year since the cover, let's see how the stock (TWX) did versus the Standard & Poor's 500:

Chart for Time Warner Inc. (TWX)

Hmm. Seems to have underperformed by about eighteen percentage points.

Sometimes investing is easy.