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Live-Blogging The Ira Sohn Conference

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This year's conference will not include David Tepper's balls but the show must go on. Scheduled speakers, in order of appearance: Erez Kalir, Dinakar Singh, Jeff Aronson, Robert Howard, Phil Falcone, Jim Chanos, winner of the inaugural Ira Sohn investment contest, Steve Feinberg, Peter May, Steve Esiman, Jeff Gundlach, Marc Faber, Bill Ackman, Joel Greenblatt, Mark Hart III, David Einhorn, Eike Batista, Carl Icahn.

12:20 Speaker 1: Erez Kalir, founder and CEO of Sabretooth Capital, presenting: "Economic Death As A Special Situation"

12:21 The last time he spoke in front of this many people "was at my bar mitzvah"

12:22 You don't have to make money the Warren Buffett way.

12:25 Holding MBIA stock is "favorably asymmetric"

12:26 Even if they loose defensive litigation, no one on the other side can necessarily force them into receivership

12:27 The open source model (used by Pershing Square) is now literally outdated

12:28 The most immediately toxic things on their structured product book turn out to be materially smaller

12:30 Let's talk about people: "MBIA has the right team on board to help it navigate its struggles"

12:36 MBIA could have 100-200 percent upside and 30% downside at worst (**if it remains solvent)

12:38 Ezra's also into Argentina

12:39 Sabretooth Tip: own farmland outside the US (Ezra recommends Tuscany)

12:40 Speaker 2: Dinakar Singh, founding parter of TPG-Axon Capital, presenting "Orkla")

12:41 He's not gonna mince words, we're behind, lets keep this train rolling

12:42 Significant restructuring will unlock Orkla's value

12:44 Great risk reward: little downside, significant upside *and* catalysts [DS is frontrunner today's fastest speaker without stopping to take a breath award]

12:45 MMMBacon: He likes Chinese pork processing company Zhongping Inc, which is "a deal"

14:47: "Are there worries? Sure. But there are worries everywhere."

12:51: Sprint is his "favorite restructuring story"

12:52 After getting "beat like a pinata from the top to bottom, things are finally starting to go their way"

12:53 AT&T buying T-mobile was a "huge win for them"

1:00 Speaker 3, Jeff Aronson, founder of Centerbridge Partners

1:02 Jeff likes CIT (John Thain nods approvingly/sees a new commode in his future)

1:05 CIT is "cheap on a book value-basis"

1:06 "The Street is confused as to value CIT"

1:11 Maybe someone will come in and buy them? Centerbridge thinks Wells Fargo, HSBC and US Bancorp could step up to the plate

1:14 In sum..."multiple potential near-term catalysts, improving regulatory outlook and a strong and motivated management team led by John Thain"

1:15 This wasn't the last slide but it should have been:

1:20 Speaker 4: Robert Howard, KKR, presenting on companies that are "misunderstood and/or fly under the radar"

1:21 Bob gives WABCO the nod (WABCO makes, among other things, anti-lock brakes...possibly with a guarantee on the box)

1:23 There's a "significant penetration opportunity" in China and India (consensual penetration)

1:24 WABCO's CEO "owns stock and options in excess of $200 million," so he must like WABCO too

1:29 Bob likes Home Shopping Network owners HNSI

1:30 Bob: This is a network where a host sells products. Who watches it? Women 30-55. Who else watches it? His colleague, Trader Ralph.

1:33 Speaker 5: PHIL FALCONE, Harbinger Capital Partners, presenting on, among other things, Lightsquared

1:34 Guy who's introducing Phil: "Our next speaker's going to tell us how he's gonna make his next billion"

1:35 "I would be remiss if I didn't give a little snapshot of what I've been working on...LIGHTSQUARED"

1:37 Phil "In this business you're either a manager or an operator. I'm not an operator." He's brought on a team though, and they're doing great work.

1:38 Falcone likes Crosstex Energy Inc

1:41 [PH has some technical difficulties, must skip a few slides, do this extempore]

1:43 Crosstex could get to 230 million of EBITDA in the next year. "This is not a pipe dream"

1:50 Speaker 6, Jim Chanos, Kynikos founder, presenting on "Does Solar + Wind = Hot Air"

1:51 You probably thought Chanos was going to talk about China. Wrong, bitches! JC: "I'm not going to talk about a certain which I mean Japan. I don't want to piss off a place with 1 billion people"

1:52 What is he gonna talk about? "The Greenies"

1:53 "When people talk about green jobs, keep your hand on your wallet"

1:55 Wind and Solar = Installation and not Innovation

1:56 JC: Here's what the green community doesn't want to talk about: "Wind and solar need large amounts of land"

1:58: Chanos on Vestas (wind turbine generation company): "The stock is down, we think it has much further to go. At best it's to be avoided and for those of you on the dark side, you might want to look at is as a short."

2:00 What JC "really wants to talk about on the short side" is solar

2:03 First Solar is "interesting" to Kynikos (so there's no confusion "interesting" should be taken to mean "wouldn't fuck it with Jeff Skilling's dick")

2:09 Michael Price, who's not speaking but introducing the contest winner, thinks Goldman Sachs is a buy "if you've got guts" (the stock should be trading $100 higher than where it's at now)

2:16 Winner of the Ira Sohn Contest Idea: Sunjay G, senior at Indiana University, will be working at JPMorgan this summer

2:18 Sunjay likes Bridgepoint Education (BPI) and he's well-aware that Steve Eisman said to short for-profit education at this very conference last year, then flashes a slide of Steve-O. This kid's got a pair!

2:21 He's interviewed over 100 Bridgepoint grads, all of whom had positive reviews

2:30: Sunjay: "Don't judge a book by its cover"

[And break]


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