Monday, October 31, 2005


I don't care who you are, if you ever say something will never happen, you are never going to be right. When Jim Cramer, wrote in his book that one should never own an airline, I became convinced that airlines were approaching a wonderful time. A few weeks ago when Jim, continued to reiterate that he would never own an airline, my resolve was increased.

The example that I like to use of never saying never is when the fellow told me in 1981 when the prime rate was at 21% that it would never reach 6% again. I bet the fellow $1,000 of my money to $10 of his that the prime would reach 6%. On the day it hit 6% in 1986, I showed up at his house and bet him that down town real estate was ready to make a tremendous comeback. He knew I was there to mention our bet and fell into the trap again of saying that down town real estate would never be as strong as it was in the past. Not long ago when I said that the per barrel price of oil would eventually drop below $30 another fellow said it will never happen. He is already rethinking his position.

Thank you Jim Cramer. Like many who are willing to make short term calls, I expected you to capitulate on the call some day. I was surprised at how quickly you did change your mind but then it is also interesting to see how quickly JP Morgan, Lehman and other big houses have changed their tune.

It is hard to resist buying into an industry that has righted itself 29 years after its regulatory protection was broken. Indeed it has been a rough 29 years. Now the good years are starting. Like a phoenix rising up out of ashes, the surviving carriers will make boat loads of money. By the time UAL, DAL, NWAC all emerge from bankruptcy as significantly smaller carriers, AMR, DAL and LCC will have picked up valuable routes and gates.

The age of shopping only for the lowest priced seat is gone. Folks now need to latch onto available seats or they may have to go to Timbuktu before circling back to their destination.

Again, not to pick on Jim Cramer but he often proves that no one is always right and he needs to learn that never is a very long time. In about 5 years, many folks will look back and say that they thought about buying CAL when it was selling at a price to sales ratio of .08 but just could not bring themselves to pull the trigger; what a shame!