Thursday, December 24, 2009

'Old Man Potter' the theaving value investor.

In honor of this Christmas, I have been watching 'It's A Wonderful Life'. Having not watched the movie in it's entirety since I was a little kid, I never really remembered the specifics of the run on the bank, where 'Old Man Potter' offers to buy all the shares of the local building & loan for 50 cents on the dollar... and is actually in a position to do so!

The townspeople and George make him out to be a theif and cheat in light of this (which is understandable given the man's implied history)... Certainly, in regard to the building and loan buyout, one could see him as a shrewd businessman, who is no different than the activist investors in Kingsway Financial that bought back the company's debt for significantly less than par.

Later, in a true display of moral ineptness, which seems to be otherwise normal for Potter; he pulls a Bernie Madoff, and quite literally steals from the building and loan. Ah, the true evil of man is caught on film!

Merry Christmas to all (except Mr. Madoff).

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