Recession? Have No Fear -- Bill Gates Is Still Rich

Five more strange things to think about.
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Back on Oct. 17, I made a few

observations about stocks and the economy that I thought you might enjoy. Considering the emails I received, it looks like I was right.

But I'm not done. On my way into the office this morning, a few more thoughts crossed my mind, and I feel it's my duty to pass them along. Here they are, in no particular order:

  • Henry Blodget, Merrill Lynch's high-profile Internet analyst, is said to have earned a $2 million severance package as part of a companywide restructuring program. That's enough to buy 20,000 shares of Yahoo! (YHOO) , 100,000 shares of priceline.com (PCLN) , 50,000 shares of DoubleClick (DCLK) and 75,000 shares of Amazon.com (AMZN) - Get Report -- all stocks Blodget was at one time fond of.
  • Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report is up more than $5 a share since mid-October. That means Bill Gates is $3.4 billion richer. If he decided to take just those profits off the table, he could buy Novell (NOVL) (market cap $1.4 billion), J.D. Edwards (JDEC) (ditto) and Progress Software (PRGS) - Get Report ($576 million).
  • Krispy Kreme (KKD) is up 9% since my last on-my-head posting. The Dow is up 8%. Sometimes I should just keep my mouth shut.
  • Philip Morris (MO) - Get Report makes 1.2 billion cigarettes a day domestically, and its Miller Brewing facilities brew more than 42.5 million barrels of beer a year. I don't think you have to guess what Christmas party I want to get invited to. Altria's!
  • On Black Friday (Nov. 23), consumers spent $1.25 billion in Wal-Mart (WMT) - Get Report stores. But if they were smart, they should have saved their money through the weekend so they could buy out Kmart (KM) for $3.27 billion (its approximate market cap) -- and then pocketed the merchandise as well as the $420 million in cash on its balance sheet.

Folks, that's it for now. As other nutty observations come to mind, I'll be sure to pass 'em along. Stay tuned.

In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, Glenn Curtis doesn't own or short individual stocks. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Curtis welcomes your feedback.