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Charles Brandes, the billionaire San Diego money manager, loves to be photographed in the newspapers with his lovely new bride, Tanya. In the Union-Tribune June 8, Charles and Tanya were pictured in a Burl Stiff column about David Copley's friends at Cannes. (David had taken his yacht to the annual cinematic event.) But today (June 17), Brandes got more ugly news about newspaper chains he has invested in. McClatchy Co. revealed that its May revenues are down 16.6 percent from a year earlier. The company is slashing 10 percent of its jobs; it previously whacked 13 percent of them. Brandes's investment firm, Brandes Investment Partners, owns 7.57 percent of McClatchy. It once had 14.63 percent. It began buying at $44.50.The stock today is at $7.81. Brandes also owns 11.27 percent of newspaper chain Gannett. He bought in in at $53 to $58 and the stock is now $25.57. He also has a loss in New York Times. Brandes has other losers that show up frequently in the newspapers. He bought into Countrywide, the troubled mortgage seller, at $19.74. It's at $4.79. He has 9.10 percent of its shares. He has 4.98 percent of Washington Mutual, another troubled lender, purchased initially at $27.84. Its at $6.22. Brandes and Tanya have built the most expensive home in the county, said to be worth $60 million, although he insists it's worth less than that.

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JohnnyVegas June 17, 2008 @ 3:09 p.m.

Not a good track record on the newspapers.

Hope he has some other investments to dollar average them out.


Don Bauder June 18, 2008 @ 9:35 p.m.

Response to post #16: I can't believe she is 55, but then I haven't seen her in person for 10 or 15 years. She is loyal to the people she photographs. I have tried a couple of times to get photos from her (one was of David post-surgery) and she won't permit it. Best, Don Bauder


JohnnyVegas June 17, 2008 @ 5:08 p.m.

I wonder just how many people actually DO READ Burl Stiff???

I have never read that type of nonsense, it has just never been interesting to me, and it certainly is not news.

I know they must have some way to track the readership of the writers, by polling or what have you.

How big of a readership can that type of nonsense have?? Really. Can't be much.


SanDiegan June 17, 2008 @ 7:36 p.m.

How long before our STRONG Mayor appoints Brandes as the City's chief financial advisor?


Burwell June 17, 2008 @ 7:42 p.m.

I read Burl Stiff's column, just like I used to read Neil Morgan's column, to identify the movers and shakers in San Diego. I also look at Margot Schwab's website for the same reason. I then search their names on the internet to find out who they are, and how they made their money. Most of the fat cats are virtually invisible to the public. I like to look at the images on Schwab's website. She recently posted an image of a relatively thin and healthy looking David Copley on her website.


Don Bauder June 17, 2008 @ 9:08 p.m.

Response to post #1: Yes, he has other investments, of course. But he has sure taken a beating on these, plus others not mentioned. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder June 17, 2008 @ 9:11 p.m.

Response to post #2: Masturbatory? You're going off in a new direction, fumber. Best, Don Baiuder


Don Bauder June 17, 2008 @ 9:14 p.m.

Response to post #3: Thorstein Veblen, the great economist of a century ago, wrote of the "unearned increment," or money that was amassed not by skill or by effort but just by happening to be at the right place at the right time. He was talking about real estate, but it would apply to Wall Street today. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder June 17, 2008 @ 9:18 p.m.

Response to post #4: When I was with the U-T I read Stiff's column, because it often told me who was in and who was out in Copley management. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder June 17, 2008 @ 9:20 p.m.

Response to post #5: That's a thought. But how could Brandes afford a $60 million home as CFO of SD? Best, Don bauder


Don Bauder June 17, 2008 @ 9:23 p.m.

Response to post #6: I don't read Stiff anymore (unless somebody tells me about a column, such as the Cannes one I have been writing about), but I do read Margo Schwab's column and enjoy it. Incidentally, in the photo of David at Cannes, he looked like he has put weight back on. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder June 19, 2008 @ 6:20 a.m.

Response to post #19: That was my reaction, too. Best, Don Bauder


Fred Williams June 17, 2008 @ 4:18 p.m.

Don, I wonder if Brandes went along for Prince David's merry jaunt so he could invest in the UT?

It would seem to fit nicely into his media acquisition strategy, which seems to be buying ventures tumbling downward in price, prospects, and longevity.

Or maybe he just enjoys our little Davie-boy's company. Nothing wrong with having friends...

Don, unlike our good friend fumber, I appreciate when you decline thin veils, and slap a burlap sack filled with cats right upside the fat heads of the rich and pathetic. Their flacid displays of wealth mark them out as true losers in the game of life.

Talk about abusers of Veblen goods*. They have no purpose in life but invidious distinction through conspicuous consumption. Wanna-be dandys like Burl "I'm so" Stiff reporting on their antics must regret wasting their writing talent on such fluffery.

It's useful for the employees of the UT, who it seems, read your articles diligently for signs of their future.

I hope they are all out looking for another job, so they can swim away from Happy Days and its corpulent captain before it sinks.



Ref: * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorstein_Veblen


JohnnyVegas June 18, 2008 @ 7:58 a.m.

Margo Schwab and The Social Diary ... I love it.

Ms. Margo certainly does like posting up HER OWN picture with the celebs (not that I mind....)!



Don Bauder June 18, 2008 @ 2:07 p.m.

Response to post #13: Yes, Margo puts pictures of herself and her husband in with the celebs, but it doesn't bother me a bit. Unlike David Copley, who puts his own picture in his own paper, Margo isn't raising prices and lowering quality, getting rid of employees and then fighting their unemployment benefits, battling the Teamsters bitterly, etc. Besides, I would rather look at Margo's picture than David's. Best, Don Bauder


JohnnyVegas June 18, 2008 @ 6:58 p.m.

Besides, I would rather look at Margo's picture than David's.

I'll second that, she is very easy on my eyes!

I had never heard of Margo Schwab until the Burwell above posted.

Margo has some cool stuff on her website. Has a few pics of herself with David Copley, and either she is very short, or he is very tall-one of the two.


Burwell June 18, 2008 @ 7:59 p.m.

Believe it or not, Margo Schwab is 55 years old.


Don Bauder June 18, 2008 @ 9:32 p.m.

Response to post #15: She used to cover society for the La Jolla Light, then went out on her own. She does her own photography. David is tall. Margo is about medium-height, as I recall. Best, Don Bauder


JohnnyVegas June 18, 2008 @ 10:07 p.m.

Believe it or not, Margo Schwab is 55 years old.

NO WAY she is 55!!!!!!


Scott Marks June 19, 2008 @ 5:57 p.m.

"I wonder just how many people actually DO READ Burl Stiff???"

Burl's Pearls:

"Also in attendance..." "Others were..." "More on the scene were..." "The dinner menu consisted of..." "Guests were..." "Capt. Jorlett was there, along with Happy Days crew members..." "Still more were..." "Other committee members were..." "Who was there? Judith Harris and Andrew Shelton, for example, and..."

How man people read Burl Stiff? I do, friend Johnny. I do.


JohnnyVegas June 19, 2008 @ 6:39 p.m.

Well then, that is a solid vote for Burl.

Burl +1 Margo +1,000,000

(I'm basing my Margo votes on "physical attributes" more than the articles themselves).


Scott Marks June 19, 2008 @ 6:42 p.m.

"Believe it or not, Margo Schwab is 55 years old."

In dog years.


Don Bauder June 19, 2008 @ 9:23 p.m.

Response to post #21: The Stiff quotes I love to read go like this: "Mathilda Veeblefetzer remarked happily, 'Isn't this a wonderful party?'" Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder June 19, 2008 @ 9:29 p.m.

Response to post #22: Margo has much less prose and more photos. And her prose isn't smarmy. She protects her subjects but she doesn't drool all over them. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder June 19, 2008 @ 9:30 p.m.

Response to post # 23: That would make her 8 years old. No. Can't agree. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder June 21, 2008 @ 12:38 p.m.

Response to post #27: Is that the last word? I could call her and ask her. Best, Don Bauder


JohnnyVegas June 21, 2008 @ 6:44 p.m.

Response to post #27: Is that the last word? I could call her and ask her.

If you do call Margo...........TELL her JV thinks she's the bomb and wants a date........................Hahaha...I am sure that will cause her bust out in uncontrollable laughter.


Don Bauder June 21, 2008 @ 9:22 p.m.

Response to post #29: Before you make such a proposal, Johnny, take a look at her husband on her website. He's a cop. And he's built like one. Best, Don Bauder


mschwab June 23, 2008 @ 7:17 a.m.

..... but I feel like I am 29 when I surf... but 29 was a long, long time ago! Best ** Margo Schwab


Don Bauder June 23, 2008 @ 10:44 a.m.

Response to post #31: Good to hear from you, Margo. Why don't you tell us if age 29 was 21 or 26 years ago, and settle this matter. I know I am not supposed to ask a woman her age, but you are a celebrity, and there is agreement that you look much younger than your age, whatever it is. I will confess here and now to being 72 years of age. Best, Don Bauder


JohnnyVegas June 23, 2008 @ 8:12 p.m.

Margo, good to have you here........and I don’t care what your age is, you look FABULOUS!


Don Bauder June 23, 2008 @ 9:26 p.m.

Response to post #33: Yes, Margo looks great. And she IS great. Best, Don Bauder


valueinvestingisdead July 16, 2008 @ 1:04 p.m.

Reply to #21

Burl Stiff's columns make me gag...

JoAnn McSnob was there wearing her $40,000 designer gown from La Pierre Frenchie and oh the Wilsons were there hob-nobbing about their latest milllion dollar investment in Real Estate. Caviar and Leg of Lion were served to all. Also in attendance...Dr Plas T Surgery and Mrs. Fakey Smile. It was a delight to see bidders bidding on precious art pieces at $200,000 minimum bid.

On a side note...valet drivers were reported to have received no tips all night from this crowd.


valueinvestingisdead Aug. 6, 2008 @ 1:13 p.m.

Reply to #7

Why in the World, given the collapsing economics of the newspaper industry, do you think they took suck large stakes in these things? Baffling as is their investments in Countrywide, Ford, GM, Wash Mutual, Homebuilders, etc....


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