Fairfax 1Q17 Earnings Call Notes

posted in: Notes | 0

Prem Watsa – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Administration’s policies have the potential of significantly boosting economic growth

“As I said at our annual meeting, and on our fourth quarter conference call, we believe the new US administration’s proposed policies of reducing corporate taxes to 15% rolling back regulation and business like Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, and a myriad of other regulations and significant infrastructure spending has the potential of boosting economic growth significantly in the United States. Already sentiment among small businesses has improved dramatically and animal spirits in the United States are being revived.”

US economy doing well alleviates some concerns over world wide recession

“When the US economy, which is approximately 20 trillion, does well much of the world does well. To us this means our concerns of China or Europe precipitating a worldwide recession depression have been significantly reduced, but not delaminated. Also the trade policies of the US could precipitate a collapse in world trade, so these risks will be very much monitored by us, but we think the new administration’s policies may make this a stock picker’s market and one in which we have thrived over the past 31 years.”

Have been reducing our short positions

“Paul, we don’t comment on individual securities of course, as you know. But broadly speaking we have been reducing our short positions, but there are certain individual names where we think it is a good match for our long positions and so we continue to maintain them, but we have refrained from mentioning any names of the past.”