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Martin Whitman: “Safe and Cheap” Portfolio

September 13, 2005

The United States, as a debtor nation, keeps exporting dollars abroad. Those dollars are then invested. Many, if not most, of these dollars will be reinvested in this country. In general, there are only three areas in which those exported dollars can be invested: credit instruments without credit risk, e.g., U.S. Treasuries; other securities, which are passive investments; and direct investments. Direct investing entails building new assets, buying into existing real estate, and/or buying into existing corporations. These direct investments almost always are characterized by changes in control, or elements of control.


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