The Tribune Company is to announce the buyer of the Chicago Cubs baseball team this week. The short list is Chicago businessman Tom Ricketts, Chicago real estate investor Hersch Klaff and New York private-equity investor Marc Utay, according to a reporter at the Chicago Tribune, who must have, um, pretty good sources. Hope (or is it a goat) springs eternal for Cubs fans, now 100 years since a championship.
The only reason I bring this up is that Mark Cuban, famous hedger of Yahoo! shares after selling his company, owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, frequent finee by NBA commissioner David Stern (another $25,000 last week!) explained a couple of weeks ago on his terrific site blogmaverick.com, why he wasn't a finalist for the Cubs. Inadvertently, or maybe blatantly, he gives the greatest explanation of today's asset values and what has gone wrong with the U.S. economy.
Crazy like a fox, that Cuban. It's just that without financing, the same identical underlying asset is worth much less!
"I never thought it conceivable that it would be hard to spend a billion dollars on a sports team. In this case it was. Add me to the list of people who never want to participate in this type of sales process again. I tried every trick I knew to try to get them to commit to me. ... You name the trial close, I went for it. But I couldn't close them." Like that bigger house down the block you got outbid on.