Monday, February 27, 2006

Annual Report from George W. Tinytree

This is my Speculator column in the February 2006 IR magazine which is a homage, sort of, to the Sage of Omaha, Warren Buffett. It's the State of the Union as a CEO's letter to shareholders.
It can be seen in its full graphic glory at

The Sage of Texas
Ian Williams passes on this year's letter to shareholders
from the CEO of Tinytree Holdings

Well, it's that time of year again, and our vice president Dick and I were sitting by the fire chewing the fat about the corporation. We don't have time for fooling about with interns at the White House, writing books and all that kind of stuff.

Even during the holidays we were thinking of you all the time here at the ranch, and one of the things we've been mulling is how the media is always so negative, adding all kinds of bull manure to our news releases and advertorials. For example, you may remember that our New Orleans plant took a bit of a beating this past year and, wow, so did we. But it was so unfair!

As part of our streamlining, we'd introduced just-in-time techniques for disaster management. I am not saying there weren't a few hiccups in this pilot program but, even so, events there showed how we had successfully cut the inventory down so we did not have to pay for keeping rescue equipment and personnel hanging around idle most of the year. Did the media give us any credit for that? No, of course not. Those reporters just focused on the few weeks it took us to get things ready.

See what I mean? Negative.

As you know, our strategy is growth by acquisition, and some of our takeovers have been a little bit hostile. The media has been suggesting we did not practice full disclosure when we took over Mesopotamia – but what the heck, we had copyright on that WMD thing. Our experience is that whenever we are considering a hostile takeover, talking about WMDs is better than saying 'underlying synergies', and let me tell you, it's a lot easier to pronounce.

What's more, we were right about unlocking hidden value. All those underlying oil reserves we acquired are now worth twice as much as when we started. To fight back against all this media negativity, our corporate secretary, Condoleezza Wheat, recently went on a European roadshow to see some of our subsidiaries and other stakeholders.

Between you and me, I've had some lectures from her in the past, and I feel sorry for those Europeans. That Condie really knows her stuff. She hasn't allowed any negative remarks about management here, and won't allow it out there, either.

The things people worry about! Our headhunting, interviewing techniques and personnel acquisition policies may be innovative, but they are very, very effective, according to our backroom boys. Of course, the results are proprietary, so I am sure I can rely on the discretion of our American stockholders in not asking too many questions. Not like those French and Germans.

The media also have some folks fretting that we are outsourcing too much. Well, it's no biggie. Alan Greenspan, our CFO, was explaining this to me over a burger recently, and it's fascinating. Did you know that most imports come from abroad? That was a revelation to me. I was pretty worried to begin with, until Alan explained.

The deal is, we get what we need from China and pay for it with paper, which China really likes. At Chinese funerals they burn paper money, so maybe it's a cultural thing.

On a final note, Dick and I can reassure you that when it comes to burning money, our company can hold its head high against any Chinese competition, as a quick glance at the red ink in the annual report will prove. So don't you guys worry your pretty little heads none about that. We're in charge, come high water or hell.

George W Tinytree,
President, chairman and CEO, Tinytree Holdings, Texas

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