Hedge fund wunderkind dumps Best Buy stock in estimated $100M loss

Uber-hedgie David Einhorn has dumped his shares of Best Buy. Says Thomas Lee at the Strib: “Einhorn bet big on Best Buy stock. Then he lost big on Best Buy stock. In a letter to investors Monday, Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital said it sold off its 2.27 percent stake, or 7.7 million shares, in the Richfield-based consumer electronics giant. Greenlight didn’t disclose its exact loss, but a Star Tribune analysis of Greenlight’s stock purchases indicate the firm’s losses could approach $100 million. … Einhorn’s exit could give [founder Richard] Schulze more ammo to convince investors that he, not the current board and management team, is best suited to rescue Best Buy, industry observers say. That Einhorn, considered by many as ‘smart money,’ would dump his shares at a significant loss just weeks before Best Buy releases its growth plan is ‘not a vote of confidence,’ said Jeremy Brunelli, a longtime Wall Street analyst who has followed Best Buy closely.”

The AP offers a bit more on the Michael Brodkorb suit against the Senate and possible fallout: “Some Republicans privately realize the situation is especially problematic for a party that aggressively promotes family values. But many of the main players in the scandal aren’t campaigning for new terms. Koch, who relinquished her leadership post last winter, is leaving the Legislature after this term. She plans to vouch for some of Brodkorb’s claims, her lawyer said. Two senators who confronted her about the affair are also giving up their seats after this term. Democrats have their own considerations in using the affair in their bid to retake the 67-seat Senate. Minority Leader Tom Bakk told The Associated Press that dwelling on the affair negatively affects the public’s view of the Senate as an institution. ‘At this point, I don’t see that whole sex scandal playing into any kind of campaign message on the part of the DFL caucus,’ Bakk said. ‘But if (Republicans) continue to want to spend taxpayer money on this, that’s fair game.’ ” The counter-argument for Bakk is that a sex scandal at least suggests to the public that the legislators are awake and semi-conscious.

What’s the old adage about “making hay while the sun shines”? The Rochester Post-Bulletin has a story — with origins at KARE-TV — saying: “As a record drought parches the nation’s midsection, ranchers are turning to Minnesota for hay to feed their cattle. Harlan Anderson, who grows 800 acres of hay near Cokato, told KARE-TV for a story that aired Monday night that he’s getting calls from just about every corner of the country from farmers who view Minnesota as an oasis. ‘I don’t think ever in my life I’ve seen it where the rest of the country is as dry as it is and we’ve got a good crop,’ Anderson said. And the phone is ringing off the hook at Steffes Auctioneers in Litchfield. Auctioneer Randy Kath has proof of the demand for Minnesota’s hay: a legal pad scrawled with the 33 phone messages left for him while he was in Canada over the weekend looking for hay to broker in the U.S.”

The AP also reports:A lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Minnesota Sex Offender Program can move forward as a class-action effort involving more than 600 people who have been indefinitely committed to the program, a federal judge ruled Tuesday. U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank ruled that the lawsuit meets the legal requirements for a class action. He concluded that addressing each case individually would be an ‘enormous drain’ on legal resources. The sex offenders who’ve been committed to the program have all finished their prison sentences, but prosecutors and the courts have deemed them too dangerous to be released without treatment. They’re officially considered patients, not prisoners, but they’re not free to leave. Until one patient earned a provisional discharge into a halfway house earlier this year, none had been successfully released since the program began in 1994.” So this is what, Offenders v. NIMBY?

Minneapolis may be “over-parked.” Maya Rao of the Strib writes: “All those large parking lots — on 5th Avenue and many other places downtown — hinder the kind of dense, urban development needed to meet the city’s aim of doubling the downtown population over the next decade, say city planners and other observers, who are considering how to transform the lots into better uses. Minneapolis recently won a $43,250 grant from the Met Council to examine the large surface parking lots within a half-mile radius of the Downtown East light-rail station and evaluate how to better position them for development. In its grant application, the city described them as the most prominent barrier to building up the area. … A city map shows at least 140 surface parking lots scattered around downtown, from the Metrodome to the Mississippi to Nicollet Mall, where cars aren’t even allowed. Many of them offer parking as cheap as $6 a day. Some, including lots owned by the Star Tribune, take up entire blocks. One lot on 2nd Street S., near the waterfront, takes up two.” Have I told you my story about paying $21 to park for 30 minutes in Chicago last month?

The Strib picks up Frank Bruni’s New York Times rip on Our Favorite Congresswoman: “What I find most fascinating about Michele Bachmann — and there are many, many more where she came from — is that she presents herself as a godly woman, humbly devoted to her Christian faith. I’d like to meet that god, and I’d like to understand that Christianity. … Bachmann’s concept of Christian love brims with hate, and she has a deep satchel of stones to throw. From what kind of messiah did she learn that? … [I] wonder why we accept her descriptions of herself, and in turn describe her, as a deeply religious woman. That grants too much credence to her particular, peculiar and highly selective definition of piety. And it offends the many admirable people of faith whose understanding and practice of religion aren’t, like hers, confrontational and small-minded.”

KMSP-TV’s Tom Leyden’s story involving Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan’s replacement has caused a stir: “Two high-ranking Minneapolis cops say the department is retaliating against them for uncovering police corruption, and plenty of dirty laundry is being aired in their civil lawsuit. Five years ago, Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan asked two of his top detectives to look into potential corruption; although, he warned them that the investigation could jeopardize their careers. As it turns it, he may have been right. … Incoming Police Chief Janee Harteau relieved the two of duty, transferring them both to low profile assignments; although, she admitted that she relied on ‘rumor and innuendo’ in making that decision. She has since blamed [Deputy Chief Scott] Gerlicher for ‘withholding information.’ “

The alleged killer of his three young daughters made a court appearance Tuesday. Kevin Giles of the Strib writes: “Aaron Schaffhausen never flinched as a police investigator described in horrifying detail Tuesday what he found when he climbed the stairs to three bedrooms to search for Schaffhausen’s young daughters. ‘I could see that the child was lifeless, no color, dried blood on the face,’ River Falls, Wis., detective John Wilson said of his first discovery on July 10. He found two other girls in the same condition. All three were tucked in their beds with blankets drawn to their necks, their eyes open. During a 90-minute preliminary hearing in St. Croix Circuit Court, Schaffhausen sat still as a statue, his face devoid of expression.

Odd how often something like this comes to light. The PiPress has a story saying: “A company backed by [Wisconsin] Republican Senate candidate Eric Hovde received more than $2 million from the federal stimulus program that he claims to oppose, a revelation that drew reproach from two GOP opponents whom Hovde has criticized for accepting stimulus dollars themselves. Hovde sits on the board of ePlus and was paid $133,200 as a director of the company, according to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report. Hovde has described himself as the ‘second-largest shareholder’ of the Herndon, Va.-based company, which offers computer services and products such as data centers and security to its clients. The company received dozens of grants totaling more than $2.3 million in recent years from a number of federal departments, according to a government website that tracks stimulus spending. The website says the grants came from the stimulus law passed by the Democratically-controlled Congress and President Barack Obama in 2009.” Has he said anything lately about building his business through his own sweat and ingenuity?

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Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/25/2012 - 07:37 am.

    Again with the boring business news?

    Do you guys have some kind of internal polling that a significant number of your readers are Best Buy shareholders? This is the LEAD story? I know there’s such a thing as slow news days but don’t MPR on us please.

  2. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 07/25/2012 - 09:02 am.

    What a wonderful opportunity…

    The MPD corruption case would make a heck of a story if either city actually had a legitimate newspaper that had any real journalists doing any real investigating and reporting. But then again, it might be hard to do that AND cover CJ’s salary.

    • Submitted by Pat McGee on 07/25/2012 - 11:51 am.

      an opportunity to select a qualified police chief

      An incoming department head who admits making such a critical decision based on rumors is not qualified to be the head of a Police Department. There should be a real search for a qualified chief.

  3. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 07/25/2012 - 10:52 am.

    Chief Harteau

    Sounds like the perfect choice to head up MPD.

  4. Submitted by Barbara Skoglund on 07/25/2012 - 12:11 pm.

    say one thing, do another

    No surprise that there is another GOPer speaking out against the programs they’ve benefited from. Bachman has lived off public $ for life – her brief stint with the IRS is her only job, the Bachman family farm gets mega Ag $ and the therapy practice Marcus owns is paid for by Medicaid and Medicare! Ole Draz hates state employees, but his whole career was with UofM Extension. The GOP doesn’t mind public $ as long as it goes to themselves and not “those people.”

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